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App Spree Strategy (Some Recons) - AmEx, Chase, U.S. Bank, NFCU, Discover, PenFed

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PayAndProsper
Regular Contributor

App Spree Strategy (Some Recons) - AmEx, Chase, U.S. Bank, NFCU, Discover, PenFed

Hey everyone. So, this post will include some approvals, but seeing as I am not finished, and thought the process could be interesting to some, I am posting here in Credit Card Applications. If a moderator deems it best to move it, there will be no arguments from me.

 

This will be kind of VERY long, so I will include a TL;DR (Too long; Didn't read) at the end of the second message (in red), for those who'd prefer to skip to it.

 

 

For reference, as of 08-22-2023, my stats were as follows:

   New Accounts 
08-22-2023FICO 8Chase 5/24x/6x/12x/24HPs
Experian8011/240120
Equifax8191/240120
TransUnionN/A1/240121

 

I had a $3,000 Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) Pledge Loan paid down to < 8% that was opened 10/22 and an NFCU More Rewards opened 04/22.

 

 

With my scores stable, I really wanted to add on some tradelines. I wanted to focus on cards that would have utility though, I did not want to arbitrarily add cards just because. I decided that I would look to get my foot in the door with the two big issuers, American Express (AmEx) and Chase, first. Knowing about the 5/24 policy, I decided that I would first app for Chase, then AmEx. Later, I would be able to apply for other cards and I would wait 31 days to play it safe with Chase's 2/30 rule before I sought out a second card with them. My expectation was to apply on the 31st day, before any new accounts reported. Unfortunately, things did not work out that way.

 

Anyway, on 8/23, I pulled the trigger, apping for first the Chase Freedom Unlimited (CFU), then the AmEx Blue Cash Everyday (BCE). The HPs both hit Experian (EX), as I had expected and it was the only of the big 3 consumer reporting agencies (CRA) that I had left unfrozen for this leg of my spree. I was approved for both: CFU @ $17,000 and the BCE @ $2,000 (this was somewhat disappointing but I was happy to get my foot in the door).

 

After having done my research and paying attention to the structure of other people's sprees, I realized that I did not want to go for several cards on the same day from the same CRA, as my odds of denial or suboptimal terms would be increased. I decided I was going to breathe for a while, and give it a few weeks while I pushed the necessary spend to hit the sign up bonus (SUB) for the CFU. This was easy enough as I only needed to spend $500 to get $200 back on the CFU. The BCE needs $2,000 of spend, but I'm given 6 months to hit it so I wanted to save some of that for the SUBs of other cards in my spree, seeing as I did not know what I would actually get or not, and most often you only get 90 days to hit the SUB requirements.

 

At this point, I will explain my logic with the other cards I had on my hit list. While I waited the 31 days, I figured that, around the 25th day mark, I would app for a U.S. Bank Cash+, a NFCU cashRewards, and a Discover It Cash Back, in that order. My research showed me that all of these would hit TransUnion (TU). I figured I would app for the Cash+ first, since all my experience and research shows U.S. Bank as being very conservative. I liked the flexiblity of the 5% categories, particularly the utilities category. I did not want to spook them with other inquiries prior to theirs. As I write this, I fully recognize that I ended up doing exactly what I should not have: grouping HPs of the same CRA together. If I ever have to do this again, I will tweak that part. 

 

I already had a strong relationship with NFCU. I had a More Rewards card with them, a paid-down Pledge Loan, checkings and money market accounts, and a CD with them. I figured they would be more flexible with approving me even if there were immediate HPs from the same day that I incurred theirs on my TU report. I had Discover pegged as very liberal, as well. The rotating 5% categories associated with their card are nice, but my only real motivation to get the card was for the free access to my FICO 8 TU. The referral bonus would not have hurt, either (I have a situation where I can take the referral bonus off of both ends, the referred and the referrer). 

 

Here's where the wrench was thrown into my well-oiled machine. As I waited, with plans to continue my spree, September 17 comes, and I receive a flurry of email alerts. When I check them, I see that there are several alerts from various sources stating that my CFU had reported to all 3 major CRAs. My stomach dropped. I was sick. This is NOT what I wanted, at all. The plan was to app while all of my reports showed my youngest CC being almost a year-and-a-half old and my newest account, overall, being almost a year old. What possessed Chase to report in less than a little over 3 weeks? Not even enough time for a full statement cycle. Just my luck. So, after 5 minutes punching the air, I resigned to accept what happened with "Well, what's done is done."

 

A few days later, I decided to continue with my plan. At this point, my stats are looking roughly as follows:

   New Accounts 
09-17-2023FICO 8Chase 5/24x/6x/12x/24HPs
Experian7912/241232
Equifax8112/241230
TransUnionN/A2/241231

 

So, I went in. I started with U.S. Bank, unlocking my TU. I pulled the trigger and... DENIED. Another punch to the gut. I had thought that I would have been a lock for that card, especially being pulled on a CRA that had only 1 HP and 2 new CCs within the past year (I do not feel like the SSL would count too heavily against me, even if it were opened more recently than nearly a year ago. Oh well, I need to move on. I needed a win.

 

I continued, applied for the NFCU cashRewards and... approved! I needed that. This card really offered mainly utilization padding and a deepening of my relationship with NFCU, since the card only earns 1.5-1.75% cash back (CB), and I already have the Citi Double Cash giving me 2% CB flat. I took the W, though. Starting limit: $8,700. Not as high as the other NFCU card, but enough for me to be able respect it. "A win is a win."

 

Time for me to pull the trigger on the 3rd TU card, the Discover It CB. Bombs away... and... DENIED. Well then... that was... interesting. Two denials off of my TUs. I left that stretch of the spree feeling a little deflated, as I did not receive 2 cards that I thought I would easily receive.

 

As I was contemplating what I would do, I thought about the fact that I hadn't applied for a card that would be checking my Equifax (EQ) profile yet. It was hard for me to think of many cards that were EQ pulls. Then, it dawned on me. I had been a member of PenFed for nearly a year. I had some money in a checking and share savings account with them. PenFed had the Pathfinder, a card that was interesting to me because it was the only CC I had found that could serve as a no annual fee (AF) card with Global Entry/TSA Precheck. Obtaining Honor's Advantage status was easy. Once a checking account has an average daily balance of $500 or more, you qualify. So, since I already had been rejected, I entered into this next part of my application spree not expecting too much out of it. So, on September 25, I unlocked my EQ, applied, and received a pre-approval for $15,000! I hit accept, the wheel turned and... accepted! Great! I'll take that Pathfinder I wasn't even expecting to get.

 

Snagging the Pathfinder changed my perspective a bit. At this point, I started to remember what I was seeing about being able to use the HP from one PenFed card on a host of other credit products. After some deliberation, I went for the Platinum Rewards card. I could deal with 3% CB on supermarket spend that includes Walmart and Target. I missed the AOD train, so this is something that could potentially be a value-add for me, and I would be able to maximize a HP. Well, I pulled the trigger on it, after freezing all of my CRAs again, and... I got the message that it would be going into review.

 

Well, no other cards had reported yet. Here I am on the 26th, 34 days after being accepted for my AmEx BCE and my first Chase card (the CFU). Aside from Chase themselves reporting, everything I wanted to execute to avoid 5/24 at the time of submission of my second Chase app was going according to plan. I'd acquired 2 additional cards since my first run at Chase and it was time to push my luck, now that I was comfortably outside of the 2/30 boundary. I went to the Chase website, used the referral link generated from a friend of mine's Chase account, navigate to the Chase Freedom Flex (CFF), and apply. The verdict... approved! I was given a $6,700 starting limit. It was a little under 40% of the CFU ($17,000). I was happy to receive the second card, and I knew it had a very easy-to-achieve, $200 SUB after $500 spend. It was time for this spree to be over... or was it?

 

 


Utilization Stats:

Current FICO® Score 8:

Goal FICO® Score 8:


Financial Institutions:

Message 1 of 16
15 REPLIES 15
PayAndProsper
Regular Contributor

Re: App Spree Strategy (Some Recons) - AmEx, Chase, U.S. Bank, NFCU, Discover, PenFed

After I looked at the success that I had, I started to think. Honestly, everything that I had accomplished made it a successful spree, in my eyes. That said, there were a few disappointments: I hadn't gotten the Discover or the U.S. Bank Cash+, the PenFed Platinum Rewards was still in limbo, and I wasn't particularly thrilled with the starting limit on the CFF. I was decided. I am a member of the myFICO community. We do not accept the first offer, or the crumbs and scraps they leave for us, we go back for everything we can (respectfully).

 

I started with Chase. On the morning of Friday the 29th, I had called Chase @ 888-270-2127. I spent 15 minutes talking with a customer service representative (CSR) and explaining that I wanted to be transferred to underwriting to see if I could renegotiate my starting limit. I told her that I had an upcoming purchase that I wanted to prepare for and that I did not want to max out or overutilize a newly-approved card from them. I was told that they do not do reconsiderations on starting limits (SL) but, after being transferred, I was told that I could go through the same soft pull (SP) credit limit increase (CLI) process any other customer would. Knowing I had already had my CFU that I got in August and that my CFF was barely 3 days old (I hadn't even received it in the mail yet), I did not hold out much hope for a CLI, but lo and behold... approved! I received a CLI of $2,800, bringing my $6,700 CFF up to a $9,500. Let's take that and not be greedy. I thanked the rep and hung up.

 

Immediately afterwards, I called U.S. Bank @ 855-228-6631. My call lasted 21 minutes. I spoke with a nice CSR and realized that this was an identity verification department. After explaining that I had a VPN active during my application submission, I was transferred to another CSR in a different department. This rep instructed me to fax or mail a copy of my driver's license to them, along with my application number. I opted to use the fax, since it would be faster. I obviously needed to give them time to receive and process the fax, and resigned myself to having to wait the weekend, until Monday (10/02/2023), to get this resolved. Well, I called this (Monday) morning, talked to a rep who put me on hold for a few minutes after I explained my situation, she asked a couple of questions verifying that I, in actuality, was the one who submitted the application, and then told me that she would push forward my application, that I was approved, but that she could not tell me for how much. She would be transferring the application to the underwriting department, and they would get back to me within 2-3 business days and ship the card. I thanked her and hung up, satisfied that I did not waste a HP with U.S. Bank, and curious as to what the SL would be.

 

I did not have to wait too long. Within a few hours, I received an email letting me know that my Cash+ card was shipping out, and that I had been approved for a $10,000 starting limit. I was very satisfied with this, as I have heard and read all over the forum (and from friends/associates) that U.S. Bank is notoriously conservative, in the beginning.

 

I did call Discover on that same Friday to see about reconsideration and ran into a brick wall. They said they would be open to further conversation after I received their rejection letter. I did not push the issue too much, but I believe I may call again to see if I have better luck. All signs point to "no." Straight application denials are not often overturned by Discover, it seems. I will try again, but I am not hopeful.

 

PenFed is the last in line. I had called on Friday and was told that my second application had, ultimately, been denied due to "new accounts." I am unsure about this reason, as I had just opened a card with them and had prequalified for another. They were my only HP on the entirety of my EQ. I tried applying again Saturday but was shot down Monday morning via secure message. I will wait a couple of weeks, collect the rejection letters, and try again. I will be sure to let you know if I have any luck.

 

All in all, this was a very successful spree, and I was able to accomplish the majority of what I wanted. My only worry now is that Chase or AmEx has a problem when all of these new accounts hit the reports. I have no intention of abusing the cards, but I do know that, sometimes, 

they have a problem with things like that, and have even limit chased and straight out closed people's accounts for it. Fingers crossed that that does not happen. It would lock me out of Chase for 24 months due to 5/24.

 

My stats look as follows, so far. I, obviously, am still waiting for the other shoe to drop:

 

   New Accounts 
10-02-2023FICO 8Chase 5/24x/6x/12x/24HPs
Experian7912/241233
Equifax8142/241231
TransUnionN/A2/241234

 

Hopefully, this was useful to someone out there. To all of you who made it through all of that, congrats. I am PayAndProsper and this was my TedTalk. Now, it's to the garden for me... for a lonnng while (I may pop out to grab that Discover in 6-12 months though, but that's all I foresee, barring closures of these open accounts that are in good standing).

 

 

 

TL;DR - I had a successful, albeit not perfect, app spree.

In a period of about a month I acquired:

CFU - $17,000

AmEx BCE - $2,000

NFCU cashRewards - $8,700

PenFed Pathfinder - $15,000

CFF - $6,700 then CFF CLI to $9,500

U.S. Bank Cash+ = $10,000

 

Declined/Rejected:

Discover It Cash Back (Working a recon but not hopeful)

PenFed Platinum Rewards (Working on recon/multiple products from one HP)

 

Lessons/Takeaways:

  • Have a plan before you start to apply
  • Understand that things don't always go according to your plan
  • Your first "no" is only a final "no" if you don't keep trying
  • VPNs off before applying

 


Utilization Stats:

Current FICO® Score 8:

Goal FICO® Score 8:


Financial Institutions:

Message 2 of 16
MorPtsPls
Member

Re: App Spree Strategy (Some Recons) - AmEx, Chase, U.S. Bank, NFCU, Discover, PenFed

While I don't quite have the guts to try it, I found it very interesting to read the detailed account of your spree. Please keep us updated in a couple months about any credit limit changes or closed accounts once it all hits your credit reports.

 

Congrats on the new accounts!

Message 3 of 16
coldfusion
Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: App Spree Strategy (Some Recons) - AmEx, Chase, U.S. Bank, NFCU, Discover, PenFed

@PayAndProsperplease be sure to update the thread with progress and outcomes of your recon attempts.

(5/2024)
FICO 8 (EX) 846 (TU) 850 (EQ) 850
FICO 9 (EX) 850 (TU) 850 (EQ) 850

$1M+ club

Artist formerly known as the_old_curmudgeon who was formerly known as coldfusion
Message 4 of 16
PayAndProsper
Regular Contributor

Re: App Spree Strategy (Some Recons) - AmEx, Chase, U.S. Bank, NFCU, Discover, PenFed


@MorPtsPls  escribió:

While I don't quite have the guts to try it, I found it very interesting to read the detailed account of your spree. Please keep us updated in a couple months about any credit limit changes or closed accounts once it all hits your credit reports.

 

Congrats on the new accounts!


@MorPtsPls Thanks! I am glad someone could get some use out of it.

 

@coldfusion  escribió:

@PayAndProsperplease be sure to update the thread with progress and outcomes of your recon attempts.


@coldfusion will do.


Utilization Stats:

Current FICO® Score 8:

Goal FICO® Score 8:


Financial Institutions:

Message 5 of 16
PayAndProsper
Regular Contributor

Re: App Spree Strategy (Some Recons) - AmEx, Chase, U.S. Bank, NFCU, Discover, PenFed

So, unsurprising update:

 

Discover, as many others have stated, does not do reconsideration, according to the CSR I spoke with.

 

She did, however, offer to go through the application with me. I know they are not stupid, but it may serve as help for someone to know that when she spoke to me, she essentially identified my strategy verbatim. She said that (according to the 9/26/2023 Discover HP) I had 3 other HPs on my TU (the 4/2022 NFCU and the U.S. Bank and NFCU HPs from 9/23/2023) and that before they would move forward, since two of them were recent, they would want to wait some time in case I was approved for new accounts that hadn't reported yet.

 

A couple of Discover takeaways:

  • You may be able to choose which CRA your HP will go to. Note that I originally had an issue where my TU was frozen. I went on the website to unfreeze it while on the phone with the CSR, but I suppose it lagged when unfreezing. After trying a couple of times, the CSR offered to try to pull EX, instead. I also had that frozen, and didn't want to incur a HP there because I knew that there would be 3 HPs there within the last 2 months, already. If you want to structure your spree better, you may be able to use this to your advantage and select whether you want a HP to your EX or TU by deliberately leaving a freeze in place.
  • Discover does not do reconsiderations. As of date, this seems to be an actual policy. The CSR flat out told me that as soon as the application is declined, she would not even know who she would be able to transfer me to to talk about a reconsideration, because the policy was that an entirely new application would need to be submitted. Whatever decision they (or their system) makes is final. After hearing the amount of conviction in her voice when she said it, and after seeing the evidence around these forums, I accepted that L. I will not be attempting to reconsider this application again.

Utilization Stats:

Current FICO® Score 8:

Goal FICO® Score 8:


Financial Institutions:

Message 6 of 16
PayAndProsper
Regular Contributor

Re: App Spree Strategy (Some Recons) - AmEx, Chase, U.S. Bank, NFCU, Discover, PenFed

I received my rejection letter from Discover.

 

Reasons cited are as follows:

  • NUMBER OF MONTHS SINCE MOST RECENT INQUIRY
  • NUMBER OF CREDIT BUREAU INQUIRIES
  • INSUFFICIENT CREDIT HISTORY IN BANK REVOLVING ACCOUNTS

Utilization Stats:

Current FICO® Score 8:

Goal FICO® Score 8:


Financial Institutions:

Message 7 of 16
OCONUS
Regular Contributor

Re: App Spree Strategy (Some Recons) - AmEx, Chase, U.S. Bank, NFCU, Discover, PenFed


@PayAndProsper wrote:

So, unsurprising update:

 

Discover, as many others have stated, does not do reconsideration, according to the CSR I spoke with.

 

She did, however, offer to go through the application with me. I know they are not stupid, but it may serve as help for someone to know that when she spoke to me, she essentially identified my strategy verbatim. She said that (according to the 9/26/2023 Discover HP) I had 3 other HPs on my TU (the 4/2022 NFCU and the U.S. Bank and NFCU HPs from 9/23/2023) and that before they would move forward, since two of them were recent, they would want to wait some time in case I was approved for new accounts that hadn't reported yet.

 

A couple of Discover takeaways:

  • You may be able to choose which CRA your HP will go to. Note that I originally had an issue where my TU was frozen. I went on the website to unfreeze it while on the phone with the CSR, but I suppose it lagged when unfreezing. After trying a couple of times, the CSR offered to try to pull EX, instead. I also had that frozen, and didn't want to incur a HP there because I knew that there would be 3 HPs there within the last 2 months, already. If you want to structure your spree better, you may be able to use this to your advantage and select whether you want a HP to your EX or TU by deliberately leaving a freeze in place.
  • Discover does not do reconsiderations. As of date, this seems to be an actual policy. The CSR flat out told me that as soon as the application is declined, she would not even know who she would be able to transfer me to to talk about a reconsideration, because the policy was that an entirely new application would need to be submitted. Whatever decision they (or their system) makes is final. After hearing the amount of conviction in her voice when she said it, and after seeing the evidence around these forums, I accepted that L. I will not be attempting to reconsider this application again.

I have always been hesitant from applying to Discover since they double HP me in 2016 and declined. Then in my rebuild, they denied me a secured card as well.


Message 8 of 16
PayAndProsper
Regular Contributor

Re: App Spree Strategy (Some Recons) - AmEx, Chase, U.S. Bank, NFCU, Discover, PenFed


@OCONUS  escribió:


I have always been hesitant from applying to Discover since they double HP me in 2016 and declined. Then in my rebuild, they denied me a secured card as well.


Hey there, @OCONUS . I would urge you not to hold a grudge. I don't think Discover does. That secured card denial is interesting. Would you mind sharing your DPs around the time of application?

 

While I am a bit disappointed in not being able to get what I wanted (free TransUnion with Discover, right now, rather than later), I know that, in my case, their decision was completely warranted. I was, in all actuality, credit seeking. I was on a spree. I was not doing so because I am in dire financial position, but rather to have as many accounts as possible aging at the same time, to create a strong foundation. This is much more preferable to me than the 1-2 cards every 6 months method. My AAoA will be positively impacted by my choice, in the longrun. Plus, the cards I got are all cards I will actually use, or at least pertain to a family of cards that I will actually use. I didn't want to app for a bunch of junk, either.

 

I have no aspirations to become a full-blown, credit-churning hobbyist with 30+ cards and spreadsheets to manage them, either. I am just looking to make sure that I have more than 2-3 credit cards in order to maximize my score in that category of the credit mix and prevent the opening of a new tradeline, years in the future, from having a serious impact on my AAoA. In short, I want to thicken up the revolver side of my profile in the most effective and efficient way possible. This spree has helped me accomplish that.

 

Now, I just need to be able to hold on to what I have opened. Fingers crossed, although, I don't think it to be very unrealistic.


Utilization Stats:

Current FICO® Score 8:

Goal FICO® Score 8:


Financial Institutions:

Message 9 of 16
PayAndProsper
Regular Contributor

Re: App Spree Strategy (Some Recons) - AmEx, Chase, U.S. Bank, NFCU, Discover, PenFed

Another update:

 

Earlier today I received the denial letter from PenFed. It says I had an 829 EQ 9 (from a low of 300 and a high of 850) and cites the following reasons for denial:

  • Length of time accounts have been established
  • Time since most recent account oppening is too short
  • Too many accounts recently opened

 

I may call in on Monday, but it is very likely that this will conclude my spree and mark my entrance into the garden. Hopefully, these DPs have been of use to someone.


Utilization Stats:

Current FICO® Score 8:

Goal FICO® Score 8:


Financial Institutions:

Message 10 of 16
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