I dont believe it really aggressive behavior. SO isnt very credit savvy; she could careless about credit cards lol. So manage all of the family credit profiles. The last inquire was 6 months ago when we got her a new car through Chevrolet Financal and refianced 29 day later through JSC FCU. That brought her total inquire count to 7 within the last 2 yrs. Of the current 7, two will be falling off; one this month and one in july.
SO and I have VERY similar credit profile as we are cosigners and AU's on everything. So i felt with the current state of her profile and her score we app'd mainly to keep her credit mix diverse; old loan had fallen off that dropped score slightly (697 to 689). Thats were the personal loan comes in. Also I only make major moves on her credit once a yr.
I feel my Chase strategy is somewhat solid as I have the Chase Trifecta myself (she AU on all) and was able to got over the "5/24 Rule" in one month with Chase. I believe the denial from Amex was ultimatley due to non usage of the Green Card we have; not a fan off charge cards but wanted to get in with AMEX for later lol. 97% of our spend goes through any one of the 3 Chase cards we have with most of it being through the CFU.
But i do agree that we will leave it at this as we are planning to purchase a home within the next 9-12 mths.
I suspect the striking thing about the pattern and number of accounts is that I could find so many accounts that had a use at a given time in my credit journey, literally I can go down all 34 accounts (open/closed) on my file and explain exactly what it did for me at that time: that's arguably the goal everyone should subscribe to, even if it's just "picked it up for the SUB" that's still a plan.
Ultimately it's about building a pretty file and at least maintaining some modicum of score, because s*** happens and it's better to have the score and file to support making credit changes when you need it, than not having it and trying to finance things at a suboptimal APR or worse.
I agree that ideally the goal should be to apply for those (and only those!) accounts that make sense at that point. I suspect though that different people will have different thresholds for what constitutes "a plan" enough to justify the card. I, for example, don't subscribe to "getting in the door with X" type stuff, where I get a pretty useless card from an issuer in the hopes that this will make it easier to, one day, get the card I want. Similarly, as I am not a believer in high CL for its own sake, getting a card because it's likely that I will get a high SL doesn't appeal to me either. But others will have their own metrics!