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Hi Everyone. I frequent these forums daily and really enjoy all the knowledge and insight. I essentially did a mini AOR for the sign-up bonuses. I'm 23, with a 50k income, 11 month AAoA, 2 years 2 month oldest account (Authorized User).

I've taken about 8 HP's on my credit in the past year, FICO was 750, now 700 and climbing. Here are the cards I was approved for over the past year & bonus:
-CSP (40k UR)
-Chase Ink Bold (60k UR)
-AMEX Gold Personal (25k MR I realize this is a bad bonus now)
-Chase Southwest RR Plus (50k RR Miles)
-AMEX BCP ($250 Bonus, 0% 18 months)
-AMEX Gold Business (75k MR)
-Credit Union Card (No bonus)

My issue is this, almost all of my revolving lines of credit will have annual fee's coming up soon and I do not wish to pay for all of them. I would also like to be able to get bonus's for cards again. For example, with the CSP Visa Signature, should I product change it to a freedom when the annual fee comes so that I may keep the age of the account, and apply for a new CSP upon reaching eligibility for the bonus?

I would also like to close the AMEX Gold Personal so that I may wait for one of the 100k MR bonus's to pop up. Will having a lot of "closed by consumer" on my credit report scare away banks from letting me open up new cards? Should I apply for some no annual fee cards and let them sit in the drawer so that my AAoA increases?

Basically, am I damaging my credit by applying for CC's for their bonus's with such a "thin profile" and low AAoA?


Thanks everyone.

Member Summary

just call the retention departments on the cards with annual fees and get some sort of bonus/fee waiver. then you don't have to close them

For your "basic" question, my answer would be "yes" but not in a long term way. With that score, you relatively low income (not for your age, but overall), it will be hard to get good bonus offer card approvals. If you are carrying any debt, even more so. I would second hitting up the retention departments to avoid the fees for the cards you have, as otherwise your choice will likely be paying the fees or having an even thinner file and a weak score along with it.

Niftyone33 said:   Will having a lot of "closed by consumer" on my credit report scare away banks from letting me open up new cards? Should I apply for some no annual fee cards and let them sit in the drawer so that my AAoA increases?

Nope. There are plenty of folks here who can attest to having closed many many cards in their lifetime and that having no effects on them obtaining new credit. We're the same age and I've closed some of your same cards a year or two ago; AMEX PRG, Platinum, SW Premier, and have no issues getting new CC's.

You don't need to apply for AF free cards, just find a card or two that has an attractive annual bonus so the fee doesn't look so ugly. For instance, I'll always keep a Southwest card because while it has it's annual fee, the points bonus they give is a fair amount for how much the fee is and I fly SW frequently so they'll be used.

BradisBrad said:   Niftyone33 said:   Will having a lot of "closed by consumer" on my credit report scare away banks from letting me open up new cards? Should I apply for some no annual fee cards and let them sit in the drawer so that my AAoA increases?

Nope. There are plenty of folks here who can attest to having closed many many cards in their lifetime and that having no effects on them obtaining new credit. We're the same age and I've closed some of your same cards a year or two ago; AMEX PRG, Platinum, SW Premier, and have no issues getting new CC's.

You don't need to apply for AF free cards, just find a card or two that has an attractive annual bonus so the fee doesn't look so ugly. For instance, I'll always keep a Southwest card because while it has it's annual fee, the points bonus they give is a fair amount for how much the fee is and I fly SW frequently so they'll be used.


I'm curious as to how well established the history of those doing AOR's are. Do they have mortgages, other loans? Older AAoA and a more well rounded credit profile would be in their favor for AOR's.

I realize that the signup bonus's are meant to offset the cost of the AF. However, I find collecting points has become somewhat of a hobby of mine; the potential of never having to pay for flights again is quite attractive. I had already planned to call and haggle with the retention departments when it is time to pay AF's. I appreciate all of you taking the time to clue me in on things.

My possible plan is as follows:
-PC Chase Southwest to a Freedom (Allowing me to hold onto account length & to apply for sign up bonus down the line)
-PC CSP to a Freedom (Allowing me to hold onto account length & reapply for signup bonus)
-Close Chase Ink Bold (Not reported on credit report so it doesn't affect AAoA, otherwise I would PC)
-Close AMEX Gold Personal
-PC AMEX BCP
-Close AMEX Gold Business (Not reported on credit report)
-Keep Credit Union Card

Any critiques of this plan?

Thanks again!

Niftyone33 said:   Hi Everyone. I frequent these forums daily and really enjoy all the knowledge and insight. I essentially did a mini AOR for the sign-up bonuses. I'm 23, with a 50k income, 11 month AAoA, 2 years 2 month oldest account (Authorized User).

You're doing quite well IMO. You may want to take a look at the Barclaycard Arrival bonus for your next AOR.

Out of curiosity, what lines are you being approved for with Chase?

Since you're concerned about your AAoA, do a bit of research on AMEX's backdating policy. It may help you out in the future.

You are correct that after the initial HP, business cards generally do not report on your personal credit report. As such, some individuals utilize business cards as hidden trade lines. Even if you're in a pay in full mindset (which is awesome btw) and strive to always keep your utilization as low as possible, you can put a large purchase on a business card and float it for a month or two without it degrading your personal utilization. You may look into converting your AMEX Gold Business card to a SimplyCash card which carries no AF if you'd like to have such flexibility.

It's also worth suggesting that the general consensus is that you should attempt to reallocate credit lines before closing a card. Chase & AMEX are generally fairly accommodating with these requests. It's alright to reallocate most of a card's CL then close it if you were planning to cancel the card anyway. Moving the CL to another card will give you more flexibility to move lines around down the road if you need to go to recon to get a new card approved. (I am talking personal cards here).

I support your idea of converting your CSP to a Freedom and collecting another bonus down the road. It's a win-win for you: another bonus in the future + 5% rotating categories with the Freedom.

If possible, I would recommend moving as much of your credit line from the AMEX Personal Gold to your BCP then closing the Gold card. I believe AMEX usually requires you to wait a year between cancel and reapplication to be eligible for another bonus in the same product family. Depending on how much you spend annually at grocery stores, the BCP may still make you money even after the AF. If it's not worth it for you, convert it.

If you haven't already, PenFed is a great credit union to build a relationship with. They are known for their generous credit lines and great customer service. I always carry my PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards card: first and foremost, it offers an automatic 5% rebate on fuel purchases paid at the pump- everyday. Say I spend $200 on gas this month; I'll receive a statement with a balance of $190. In addition, the card is true pin & chip and charges no foreign transaction fees. Also, aside from automaker incentive financing, PenFed offers some of the most competitive auto loan rates on the market. I've even read stories of members accepting a high interest loan on a new car in exchange for an additional rebate off the purchase price only to refi with PenFed a week later.

Finally, you're 23 with a decent income for your age. Are you planning or even thinking about purchasing a home any time soon? If so, this is not a game to play until after that decision is made.

CraftyCraft said:   
You're doing quite well IMO. You may want to take a look at the Barclaycard Arrival bonus for your next AOR.

Out of curiosity, what lines are you being approved for with Chase?

Since you're concerned about your AAoA, do a bit of research on AMEX's backdating policy. It may help you out in the future.

You are correct that after the initial HP, business cards generally do not report on your personal credit report. As such, some individuals utilize business cards as hidden trade lines. Even if you're in a pay in full mindset (which is awesome btw) and strive to always keep your utilization as low as possible, you can put a large purchase on a business card and float it for a month or two without it degrading your personal utilization. You may look into converting your AMEX Gold Business card to a SimplyCash card which carries no AF if you'd like to have such flexibility.

It's also worth suggesting that the general consensus is that you should attempt to reallocate credit lines before closing a card. Chase & AMEX are generally fairly accommodating with these requests. It's alright to reallocate most of a card's CL then close it if you were planning to cancel the card anyway. Moving the CL to another card will give you more flexibility to move lines around down the road if you need to go to recon to get a new card approved. (I am talking personal cards here).

I support your idea of converting your CSP to a Freedom and collecting another bonus down the road. It's a win-win for you: another bonus in the future + 5% rotating categories with the Freedom.

If possible, I would recommend moving as much of your credit line from the AMEX Personal Gold to your BCP then closing the Gold card. I believe AMEX usually requires you to wait a year between cancel and reapplication to be eligible for another bonus in the same product family. Depending on how much you spend annually at grocery stores, the BCP may still make you money even after the AF. If it's not worth it for you, convert it.

If you haven't already, PenFed is a great credit union to build a relationship with. They are known for their generous credit lines and great customer service. I always carry my PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards card: first and foremost, it offers an automatic 5% rebate on fuel purchases paid at the pump- everyday. Say I spend $200 on gas this month; I'll receive a statement with a balance of $190. In addition, the card is true pin & chip and charges no foreign transaction fees. Also, aside from automaker incentive financing, PenFed offers some of the most competitive auto loan rates on the market. I've even read stories of members accepting a high interest loan on a new car in exchange for an additional rebate off the purchase price only to refi with PenFed a week later.

Finally, you're 23 with a decent income for your age. Are you planning or even thinking about purchasing a home any time soon? If so, this is not a game to play until after that decision is made.


I didn't know that a credit line existed to be moved around from the AMEX Gold charge card, it simply states NPSL, I know it must have some internal limit. For each Chase Card, I have the minimum of 5k line of credit for Visa Signatures and World Mastercards. I'll definitely look into the PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards card. I do PIF multiple times each month. In regards to the auto loan, I was initially looking at PenFed, but I was able to get one for 0% through the manufacturer.

Lately I have been thinking about purchasing a home. However, with my current income and the area I live in, that will not be a possibility for quite a few years. Hypothetically, let's say I want to purchase a property when I'm 28, 5+ years, when should I stop doing these AOR's?

Barclay's was the only bank to refuse to issue me a line of credit. I attempted to get the Barclay's NFL card ($400 Sign up), but was declined. I even called Recon and it was a no go due to a thin profile. I'll wait for the signup bonus for them to pop up again and try.

Niftyone33 said:   
Lately I have been thinking about purchasing a home. However, with my current income and the area I live in, that will not be a possibility for quite a few years. Hypothetically, let's say I want to purchase a property when I'm 28, 5+ years, when should I stop doing these AOR's?.


If you're going to purchase a home and mortgage hunt in 5 years, I'd slow down my AORS from full-boar to 50% or so in 3 years, and take it easy the last year, then not do any new CC apps the final year before the home purchase. That'd minimize hard pulls and maximize your AAoA, etc.

Niftyone33 said:   
I'm curious as to how well established the history of those doing AOR's are. Do they have mortgages, other loans? Older AAoA and a more well rounded credit profile would be in their favor for AOR's.


Here's my stats (first from CreditKarma and then pieces from my report) since you are being both polite and intelligent. I figure my info might be especially relevant to you since we're the same age. This is my info before my last AOR (done mid-June)

Total Credit: ~$55,000
Utilization: 3% (I float balances between AOR's, but when it comes time for new apps, I quickly lower my utilization to somewhere between ~2-12%)
Total Accounts 20-25: [5 installment(3 student loan, 2 car loans), rest are CC]
Average Age of Credit History: ~2 years
Oldest account: ~4 Yrs 6 Mo
Hard Credit Inquiries: 6 TU/11 EQ/7 Exp
Payments made on time: 320
Derogatory Marks: 0

On this last AOR I applied for:

USBank Club Carlson (85k Carlson Bonus) ~4.5k Approved
Citi TY Preferred (5pts gas/5pts grocery/5pts drugstores) ~5k Approved
Chase Ink Bold Business (60k UR Bonus) ~4-7k Approved
AM3X SPG (25k bonus) ~2k Approved
Chase SW Premier Business (50k RR Bonus) Denied.

I have 4 Chase personal cards and this was my first business app ever. Only reason I didn't get the SW card is because they made me choose between which I wanted. UR>RR, and 60k>50k, so I obviously chose the ink. I really wanted some Barclay cards (Arrival and the Lufhansa) but their stupid "we hate Iowa" clause is a bummer.

I hope my data points help you!

Total Credit: ~$20,000
Utilization: 9%
Total Accounts 11: [1 installment, 9 credit cards, the other is a student loan]
Average Age of Credit History: 1 year five months
Oldest account: ~3 Yrs 4 Mo
Hard Credit Inquiries: Seven on my credit karma(TU), too lazy to find the others
Payments made on time: 160
Derogatory Marks: 0

I applied for the Chase freedom card two years ago, just got apporved for the 60K UR bonus Chase Ink Bold Business. I also have the American Express PRG but got the 50,000 point bonus. Like BradisBad has, you just have to slowly but surely work the system. I find applying for a bonus card to be better if it does not have an annual fee. I value higher CashBack over airline points as I have very little time to take off work/school. Oh and I am 21 years old.

Hello, I'm long time member at FW but new to the FW finance forums. I Had been moving from one airline mile card to another to pick up the sign up bonuses and recently happened on to a blog where I picked up the term and meaning of churning. I've come here to my old friends at FW looking for more advice and strategy etc.
In this thread there are many abbreviations that I am not familiar. Is there any page explaining these?
AOR, PC, CSP, UR, MR, RR, AAoA, BCP,

Just my .02, but if your goal is to claim bonuses for cards, you don't really want to have a lot of open lines. Once you hit the max, your auto-approvals are going to stop. Disregard this if you actually want to use the credit lines, or you need a low utilization % to keep your score from taking.

TravelerMSY said:   Just my .02, but if your goal is to claim bonuses for cards, you don't really want to have a lot of open lines. Once you hit the max, your auto-approvals are going to stop. Disregard this if you actually want to use the credit lines, or you need a low utilization % to keep your score from taking.

How many is too many?

Depends on your income and your lenders criteria. Once you stop getting instant approvals, it's because you've already been extended the max amount of credit, or at least are getting close. Again, it's not the number of open lines, but the total of your credit limits. I'd rather each new card just give me a 2k limit, because I'm going to be closing it 3-4 months later anyway.

hermosa:

AAoA - average age of accounts
BCP - Blue Cash preferred(Amex card)
AOR - app-o-rama(see sticky)
CSP - I'm assuming Chase Sapphire Preferred
RR - assuming rapid rewards
UR - assuming ultimate rewards
MR - assuming membership rewards
PC- product change

Others, plz correct me if I assumed wrong.

hermosa, you might want to read the credit card/app-o-rama threads through; long, but a great education if you're new to the forum. I've been here for a dozen years and I still get confused by some of the abbreviations,especially when they coincide with stocks.



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