I want to say the answer is no, because I've been with BofA for 15 years and they still didnt approve me for an unsecured (although they did for a secured).
So am I dumb in thinking that if I open an Amex Savings or PenFed savings I'll get in their good graces and later look better to get a credit card?
Interesting Question which I have thought about. Here are my thoughts.
For institutions like credit cards and most banks, I think it helps if you are a regular customer with checking & savings.
I opened checking and savings with Wells Fargo last year and started using account as primary account. I started getting online offers for secured card after a few months, then a few months ago the offer became rewards card. I'm pulling the trigger next month and if approved, I know it will be true in this case.
I used to be a regular customer of American Express (19 years, no defaults, no 30 day lates, heaviest usage of any card) and I doubt if opening a savings account with less than $10K would help me. IMO, only large savings account would help.
I don't know about PenFed.
Are you going to take secured card from BofA? It is one of the better secured cards.
I did indeed take the BofA secured, although I wish I had known it was a hard pull every time you wanted to deposit money, I would have increased my initial deposit. Now I have to wait six months, which it sounds like is a good amount of time to wait in between hard pulls from reading comments on this site.
I already had Cap One with credit steps for a few months, and just pulled the trigger on the Best Buy card after the BofA was approved. I must have gotten my credit report on a good day because I was approved for 1,000 Plat card. Now my pre approval says Gold instead of Plat, so I think I dodged a low limit bullet on that one.
Sounds like you are doing good to me.
Your Penfed savings account may have merit. You might open a new post asking the best way to get a Penfed card.
I have credit cards from BoA, Chase, Discover, Amex and RBS. I have never had a deposit account with any of them.
Why? Because Credit Unions pay significantly higher dividends on deposit accounts than banks.