Newbie help? approved by Chase for 5K, denied by Amex, next steps for building?

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twr11
 
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Newbie help? approved by Chase for 5K, denied by Amex, next steps for building?

Postby twr11 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:54 am

I'm very new to all this, and don't really know where to begin. My goals are to a) build up my credit history in anticipation of buying a house in 2-4 years, when I graduate from grad school and my income rises substantially and b) to get credit card rewards. I don't plan to carry balances. Here's my credit history:

-No current lines of credit except for a credit card I was approved for yesterday. Income is fairly low (~34K) but I live rent free as a part of my compensation, so given the apartment I live rent-free in (center of a major city), it's more like an income of 50K+. I have about 6K in the bank and 6K in a Roth IRA.

-Had a basic HSBC credit card from circa 2008-2012. I am 99% sure I never had a late payment, but I did carry balances for some chunk of that time. I payed the card off and the account was closed in 2012 (I forget whether it was closed by me or by HSBC).

-I am currently waiting for the three free credit reports you can get per year, but from the information I got after being denied by Amex (more below), it sounds like at least on Experian there is nothing very amiss on my credit report aside from my sparse history and recent applications. My credit score on Experian is apparently 752.

-Yesterday I applied for a Chase Amazon.com chase card and an Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card. I was approved by Chase at a $5000 limit, and denied outright by Amex.

I'm fairly ok with just having one credit card (the Amazon card suits me pretty well in terms of rewards, and the credit limit is much more than I'll use per month) but I'd like to be able to diversify rewards, and Amex seems ideal for a number of reasons (in particular I'm looking for something that has grocery rewards). I like the idea of a charge card rather than a credit card, given that I won't be carrying balances. It also seems like having 2 cards would help me build up a credit history faster.

Should I:

a) sit tight, use the Amazon chase card for a while, and think about new applications in 6 months to 1 year? (Did I blow it by applying for two cards in one day with my sparse history?)
b) apply for a lower-class Amex card? Call Amex up and see if they can help me out in finding a card of theirs that I'm more likely to be approved for?
c) apply for an alternative second card, like Chase Freedom or Sapphire? Or look for a second card that is not-Chase and not-Amex given I've applied with these two recently?

Thanks in advance for any help - this is all very overwhelming and I'd just like to figure out whether I should apply for something else in the near term, or sit tight.


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Xorand
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Postby Xorand » Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:10 am

I may be wrong, but I would think AmEx might have tighter requirements for cards on which you have to pay in full each month. Might be worthwhile to apply for something like a Blue Cash and see what happens.
AmEx - Platinum (NPSL) , Blue Cash Preferred ($19,000), Gold Delta Skymiles ($8,500)
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MemberSince99
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Postby MemberSince99 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:40 pm

What you should do is wait for the denial letter from Amex and look at the reasons they gave you.


Work on addressing these issues then when you have addressed them, re-apply if you want an Amex.

twr11
 
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Postby twr11 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:27 pm

MemberSince99 wrote:What you should do is wait for the denial letter from Amex and look at the reasons they gave you.


Work on addressing these issues then when you have addressed them, re-apply if you want an Amex.


Thanks! They read the reasons to me over the phone and although the guy was going quickly it sounds like the reasons were a lack of recent credit history (no history in past two years) and "a lot of recent credit pulls." A lot = 1 for the Chase and 1 from me trying to use annualcreditreport.com to access my own reports (didn't succeed, said I needed to submit paperwork to verify identity. Probably because I've had ~15 different domiciles in the past 10 years due to working abroad.)

In terms of building history, is one card enough to do so, or should I try to get a second, lest prestigious, card right now from Amex or another company?

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PlyrStar93
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Postby PlyrStar93 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:00 pm

For my own experience in building history, one card is enough. Move on and wait 1 year and you should be fine for a second card from another prime lender. It could be YMMV but my second card is at my 16th month of credit history.

You may be able to get a "less prestigious" card now but first it's not necessary and second you have chance of being denied for whatever reason, and with another inquiry added.
Citi Forward Visa $5000 10/2012 | American Express Blue Cash Everyday $8000 2/2014 | Discover it $7000 5/2014
Chase Freedom Visa Signature $7000 6/2014 | Citi ThankYou Premier Visa Signature $5000 1/2015
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takeshi
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Postby takeshi » Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:01 pm

twr11 wrote:I'd like to be able to diversify rewards, and Amex seems ideal for a number of reasons (in particular I'm looking for something that has grocery rewards). I like the idea of a charge card rather than a credit card, given that I won't be carrying balances.

Instead of simply looking to diversify look at you major spend categories and look for cards that maximize rewards for your volume of spend in those categories. If you're going to consider Membership Rewards cards such as the PRG then make sure you can make use of the MR transfer partners to get the most value out of your MR points. Look at the redemption rates for the transfer partners and make sure that your spend is sufficient to earn rewards. If not, a cash back card may be better suited to you than a points/miles card.


twr11 wrote:Thanks in advance for any help - this is all very overwhelming and I'd just like to figure out whether I should apply for something else in the near term, or sit tight.

From what you've said it sounds like you need to build some positive history and then add one or two more cards.

twr11 wrote:and "a lot of recent credit pulls." A lot = 1 for the Chase and 1 from me trying to use annualcreditreport.com to access my own reports (didn't succeed, said I needed to submit paperwork to verify identity.

Viewing your own credit report doesn't require a hard pull.

A "lot" is relative. With a thin profile a "lot" is much lower than it would be for someone with a thicker profile.

Xorand wrote:I may be wrong, but I would think AmEx might have tighter requirements for cards on which you have to pay in full each month.

It's the other way around. Generally the charge cards are easier to qualify for than the revolvers. If the OP was denied for a charge card then the OP has some work to do.



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