Thanks for the advice. I do spend a lot at restaurants and Amazon, so the Forward bonuses would be great. However, I'm leaning towards the IT as there is no FTF. Since CSP might be a stretch (at least by year's end) I suppose the IT would be my best bet for a card that I can use in South Korea (as well as other foreign countries). I'm just hoping I'll meet the underwriting requirements for the IT (I was assuming, perhaps incorrectly, that Forward might be easier to get).
Thing is, Discover foreign acceptance relies on Diners Club, and Diners Club acceptance is very limited.
So even when Discover has no FTF, it won't do you any good as very few will take it in South Korea.
Forward is indeed a lot easier to get than Discover it.
I was approved for the Discover It card, but CITI would not approve me for the Forward card.
If your goal is the CSP by year end. I'd say open a Chase Checking account if possible. Start your relationship there and ask your banker to apply for a Chase Slate card. Its not the best card in terms of looks or rewards (are none, but theres the 0% introductory apr) but should be the easiest to get from Chase. Down the road you can have it changed to the Freedom possibly.. (possibly..)
Then by years end you should have a good enough reputation with Chase for the CSP.
I'm sure there will be opinions on this..