Breaking: Here is the Link for the 100k Bonus on the Chase Sapphire Reserve

Update: I believe 5/24 is fully applicable to this card and I cannot recommend applying if you are over 5/24. Your best bet is to go to a branch and see if you are pre-approved. That seems to be working to get around 5/24.

A real quick post to highlight that a public link is now live for the 100,000 point signup bonus on the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Here is a direct link to the offer.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The big news is whether this card is subject to the 5/24 rule and right now the results are inconclusive. There are over 3,300 comments in this thread on Reddit so it is quite a task to go through but there are data points for both approvals and denials for those who are in violation of the 5/24 rule. As such, it is difficult to say for sure at this point whether this card is subject to 5/24 but I am leaning towards yes. There is speculation that the approvals came from people who might have been prequalified and thus got around 5/24. I think in the coming hours or days we will have a lot more clarity on whether the 5/24 rule is in effect but the more recent update seem to indicate 5/24 is in effect. 

In my post yesterday on the hype of this card, I mentioned how this offer was available yesterday in branches though it was obviously tough to find a branch open on Sunday. Someone on Reddit created a survey and asked those who applied to provide data to determine any trends for those who were approved. I frankly think the survey isn’t very clear or easy to follow but here it is if you want to go through the data.

I fully expect Chase to be slammed with applications so if you get a pending decision, it might take a while to get a decision. You could call reconsideration and probably get a quicker decision though if 5/24 is the reason for denial, there is no amount of pleading you can do to get an approval.

Good luck to all applying today! Please report any success or failures in the comments including whether you were over 5/24 or not.

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Chase Sapphire Reserve Update: The Hype is Insane and Past the Point of Ridiculousness

I’ve been doing this for a few years now and I’ve never see anything like the anticipation/suspense/desire/worry/excitement/nervousness etc.. about the Chase Sapphire Reserve being released today. I know everyone is antsy to get a 100k signup bonus especially if you are over 5/24 since applying earlier is probably the best chance to get approved if the 5/24 rules haven’t made it to the card yet. However, some people are taking this a bit too far thinking they need to apply the moment the card is available.

I mean look at this thread on Reddit Churning – since yesterday evening, there have been over 1,300 comments and there are currently over 1,330 users on that site. If you don’t follow the site, those number are nutty as people are losing their damn mind about this card. People are literally refreshing pages that might contain the application link by guessing the URL based on the format of other Chase cards. Some stayed up all night refreshing links or that thread. Some are calling Chase 6 + times this morning. One user even posted about they have a script that will automatically tell him when the card is available – are you freaking kidding me?

Reserve

My advice? You don’t need to apply the instant it is available. Ideally I’d apply in the few hours or within the day it is available but by then you will see other bloggers post about it or users mention it on Twitter so relax. Besides, the few datapoints coming in seem to indicate the online app won’t be available till tomorrow and only in-branch applications are accepted today (Yes there are a handful of branches open today. No I wouldn’t go out of my way to visit one).

As an FYI, I would guess the big blogs (TPG, MMS, VFTW, OMAAT etc..) won’t have their affiliate links until later in the day tomorrow so I recommend following Doctor of Credit or my Twitter to get notice when a public (i.e. non-affiliate) link is live if you want to apply right away. If you need a refresher, here are my thoughts on the card and applying for it.

My App-O-Rama Results: 175,000 Points/Miles + $300 in Airline/Statement Credits

Last month, I applied for several new credit cards and decided to apply for them all on the same day in one “app-o-rama”. While it’s true some people are shifting away from the app-o-rama idea and applying for cards as needed, I stuck to it as historically it’s worked very well for my wife and I.

Now before I get into the detailed results, please note I post about my credit card dealings as these posts are always popular with readers but remember just because I apply for a card (or 4) doesn’t mean you should. In fact, you probably shouldn’t as I know what I am doing and the risks associated with these financial decisions. We are at different places in the miles/points game and probably have different travel goals/needs. With that disclaimer out of the way, here is what I applied for and why.

1) American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card – 50,000 Membership Rewards Points + $200 in Airline Gift Cards

PRG Offer

Update (6/18): Some people might see an offer for 40k points the first year + 25k points the second year by clicking this link. Personally, I like the 50k offer below better since I never have to pay an annual fee but some people might appreciate the extra points.

I find it interesting that while I’ve had 47 credit cards (yes that’s the actual number though many of them are now closed) over the past 4 years, I never had the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card which is a fairly popular card. The normal signup bonus is just 25,000 points but I was able to get a 50,000 point offer to appear by opening this link in a Chrome incognito window.  This offer required spending spending only $1,000 in 3 months and the annual fee of $195 was waived for the first year. I was not approved right away but instead of calling reconsideration right away, I waited a day and found out I was approved when I checked my application status online.

Delta Gift Cards Amex

In addition to the 50,000 points, this card offers a $100 airline credit annually based on the calendar year so in the first year of card membership I will be able to utilize this credit twice. I have already used this year’s credit to buy 2x $50 Delta gift cards and I plan to repeat it in early January 2017.

Currently, when I click the link for the card above (remember not everyone will see this offer right away or at all), it shows a 50,000 point offer but with a $2,000 spend requirement – still a great offer in my opinion especially as Amex limits you to a card once a lifetime so you want to maximize the signup bonus. There are reports of very targeted 60k or 75k offers but they are quite rare so I think 50k is the realistic highest signup bonus for most people.

2) Chase British Airways Avios – 75,000 British Airways Avios

BA Avios Offer

My general focus for this round of applications was to accumulate transferable points (like Chase UR or Amex Membership Rewards) or airline miles as I have plenty of hotel points right now (over 1.3 million across all programs between my wife & I) so I went for one of the highest signup bonuses with this card. I did unfortunately miss the 100,000 Avios offer earlier this year but I wasn’t confident it would return anytime soon so I pulled the trigger on the 75,000 Avios signup bonus offer. Technically, the offer is split with 50,000 Avios being awarded after $2,000 in spending in 3 months and the other 25,000 Avios being award for spending $15,000 total in the first year. Additionally, the annual fee of $95 is NOT waived for the first year.

Chase is known for the lack of instant approvals and this was no different as I was notified my application was pending. I decided to not call reconsideration as I already had 5 Chase cards open (4 personal, 1 business) and I was worried about having another set of eyes on this application/all my Chase cards and have an overeager agent possible deny my application under the 5/24 rule even though 5/24 does not appear to apply to this card. After waiting it out for about 25! days, this is how I found out I was approved – I got a thick envelope in the mail from Chase.

BA in Mail

This is how I found out I was approved…thanks Chase!

Going back to the offer, I’ll easily reach the $2,000 spend threshold in 2 months and I have a year to tackle the remaining $13,000 in spend required for the other 25,000 Avios. This won’t be an issue as I will put all non-bonus category spend on this card and I’m sure there will be several reselling deals or smaller manufactured spending deals to help complete this spend. With these Avios, I will plan to exclusively use them on short haul American Airlines flight domestically and to the Caribbean.

3) Bank of American Alaska Airlines (Personal) – 25,000 Alaska Mileage Plan Miles + $100 Statement Credit

Alaska Personal Offer

Before I go into this offer, note the offer on this card has increased now to 30,000 miles + $100 statement credit and you can apply directly via this link. Back when I applied the best offer was 25,000 miles + $100 and even though I knew the 30,000 mile offer was coming at some point this year, I chose not to wait for it. I won’t describe my thoughts on churning these cards in this post as that deserves its own post (which I will write someday) but at a bare minimum I like to signup for at least 2-3 of these cards a year (and some people do much more than this). The timing made sense to get this application in now and I was happily instantly approved.

Anyway back to offer which was 25,000 miles for getting approved for the card (no spend requirement) plus a $100 statement credit if you spend $1,000 in 3 months. There is also a free companion ticket though I have never used mine as I’ve never actually flown Alaska Airlines. The annual fee of $75 was NOT waived for the first year but with the statement credit offer, Bank of America was paying me $25 to acquire 25,000 Alaska miles. Even with the demise of Emirates first class awards (yet another post I need to write – my review of Emirates first class), Alaska miles are still valuable for awards to Asia on Cathay Pacific/Hainan Airlines, awards to the South Pacific with Fiji Airways and great in general for awards on Delta, American or Alaska themselves. In short, I will have no problem spending these miles.

4) Bank of American Alaska Airlines (Business) – 25,000 Alaska Mileage Plan Miles

Bofa Alaska Business

Update (6/18): This card now offers a 30,000 mile signup bonus.

The offer for the Alaska Airlines business card is quite similar to the personal card except it does not include the $100 statement credit to help offset the $75 annual fee which is NOT waived for the first year. Currently, the offer is still 25,000 miles but I’ve heard it will be increasing to 30,000 miles relatively soon to more closely align with the personal card. Just like the personal card, this card is indeed churnable and one that I like to acquire 2 or 3 of in a year to help augment my Alaska Mileage Plan balance. Additionally, if you apply for the the personal Alaska card at the same time, the credit inquiries will be combined thus creating almost no downside to adding a business card application. For this application, I was instantly approved.

For this offer, the 25,000 miles are awarded after first purchase so I tend to think of this offer as a way to buy 25,000 Alaska miles for $75 – an obvious good deal. Even if you don’t have plans to redeem Alaska miles for a luxurious flight aboard Cathay Pacific or Emirates, at the very worst you can think of this offer as buying a domestic flight for $75 since those 25,000 miles will cover domestic round-trips on American, Delta or Alaska. 

Summary:

This was yet another successful round of credit card applications especially when you consider I did not have to call reconsideration on any of these cards and there were no denials. For a total cost of $145 in annual fees the first year (after factoring in the $100 statement credit on the Alaska Personal card), I earned 175,000 points/miles and $200 in Delta Gift cards. That’s a pretty solid haul in return for 3 credit inquiries and shows that even after 47 cards, there is still much value to be earned by chasing the right signup bonuses.

*As always, there are no affiliate links included in this post. All links lead to the best available offer I am aware of.

A Successful Product Change to the Chase Freedom Unlimited + A Few Things I Learned Doing It

Update: Several people (including this exchange on Twitter) have mentioned you don’t actually need a $5k credit limit on the card and have been successful in a product change with a CL of less than $5k. I’m guessing my agent was confusing Visa Signature limits with the minimum credit limits of this card in general (i.e this card does not have to be a Visa Signature)

Last week, I wrote about the new Chase Freedom Unlimited being available starting 3/13 (though only available in branch or over the phone) and I promised to come back & write about my experience trying to product change my wife’s Sapphire into the Chase Freedom Unlimited. It was ultimately successful but I did hit a temporary roadblock and I learned a few things in the process. I’ll share a few pointers below to help those considering a switch to this new card.

IMG_2356

Success!

1) You Can Request a Product Change via Secure Message

While the card is advertised as being available in branch or over the phone only, you can actually request a product change online via secure message. In fact, this might be easier as I’ve read several reports that phone reps had trouble dealing with product conversions. This was especially helpful for me as this was a conversion from my wife’s Sapphire card and I could log into her account & handle this without having her get on the phone.

SM

2) The Chase Freedom Unlimited Has a $5k Minimum Credit Line

My wife’s Sapphire (not Preferred) had only a $4k credit line as I’ve had to take credit from it in the past to get other applications approved. When I first requested the product change, it was denied as the card required a $5k credit line which I believe is a result of it being a Visa Signature card.

5k Credit Line

They offered to perform a credit line increase which I denied because Chase would need to pull my wife’s credit report and I did not want an additional inquiry on her report when it wasn’t warranted. This leads to point three…

3) You Can Reallocate Credit Lines via Secure Message

Instead of a credit line increase, I asked if I could transfer $2k from another card and then perform the product change. This was approved without issue and I’m glad I offered this instead of wasting a credit inquiry to perform a credit line increase. After that fact, I came across this post from Doctor of Credit which summarizes rules and tips for credit reallocation for all the major banks.

Reallocate Credit Lines

4) You Can Have the Card Overnighted to You

Probably not a big deal for most but Chase was willing to overnight the card to make sure we had it for an upcoming trip.

Freedom Unlimited Confirmation

I think for most people that product changing into this card will make sense as this card is subject to the 5/24 rule and many of us will not be able to apply for it outright. It is, in my opinion, the best no annual fee card when paired with a premium Chase product as I consider the 1.5 Chase UR per dollar spent worth more than the 2% earned on the best no annual fee cashback cards.

One solid piece of advice I saw was that if you are considering product changing a normal Freedom card to this card, you might want to hold off until you maximize or use a large portion of the Freedom’s Q2 5% categories which are grocery stores and wholesale clubs (like Sam’s Club and BJ’s). If you have a normal Sapphire (not Preferred), than I see no reason not to convert to this card as it is much stronger for everyday spending.