Best strategy to get approved for hard-to-get cards?

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cjohnrun
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Best strategy to get approved for hard-to-get cards?

Postby cjohnrun » Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:20 am

What’s the best strategy to get approved for multiple credit cards in a short time period when at least one of them is difficult to get?

In my case, my six-month credit goal is to get approved for both PenFed Cash Rewards and Fidelity AmEx. Knowing how conservative PenFed can be, I worry that applying for another card anywhere near the time I apply for the Cash Rewards card could hurt my chances. I’m not sure how difficult the Fidelity card is to obtain.

So what’s the best game plan? Right now, I’m thinking I’ll apply for the PenFed first, and the day I’m sure of PenFed’s final response, I’ll apply for the Fidelity. Am I going about this the wrong way? I’d rather be patient if that’s the better course of action. The only reason I can think of to apply for the FIA card first is that I currently have open only one major credit card and one store card.

Also, my one-year goal is to get the CLs for these two new cards and my Blue Cash to at least $10K. My current Blue Cash limit is close but not quite. Is it wiser to request a CLI before or after applying for the other cards?


hematino
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Postby hematino » Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:35 pm

I have both the PenFed Cash Rewards and the Fidelity Amex. Can't speak for everyone but I'll tell you what I did.

The Amex for me was pretty easy, I pulled the trigger a month after getting the Amex Blue Cash Preferred and the Barclays US Airways MC, and FIA approved me for $2500 with no problems. They pulled Experian for me, I had 2 recent inquiries at the time.

PenFed I admit I was a bit scared to apply for after reading how conservative they were and horror stories about how applicants had to send them proof of their income and all kinds of paperwork to get approved. I joined PenFed and funded the mandatory share account with $5. Also on the phone with the CSR I opened a checking account, thinking maybe they wouldn't suspect I had only joined to get their credit cards. The rep was really nice and since they will hard pull your credit to open a savings/checking account anyway, he must have seen that I fit whatever criteria they look for to open a credit card-- he invited me at least twice to check out their credit cards and auto loans and apply if interested. I waited about a month after opening those accounts and funding the checking account with direct deposit, to make it look like I was at first unaware of the credit cards. After that month I pulled the trigger on the Platinum Cash Rewards Visa, and got an instant approval for $6000 credit limit. They didn't ask for any qualifying paperwork at all, but YMMV. By the way PenFed pulled Equifax, and they WILL NOT hard pull you twice if you apply for a credit card or something within 60 days of the last pull-- they use the same pull. I had at the time 3 prior inquiries on Equifax, two of them were recent. Looking back I'm really pleased with joining PenFed, the service and products have been fantastic.

I hope this is somewhat helpful. BTW i got the Fidelity Amex maybe a month and a half before getting the PenFed card.
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2percentPlus
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Postby 2percentPlus » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:44 am

I think Fidelity will be better to you if you have a current FIA card..My online app crashed somehow and I got on the phone, somehow they either got that app or started a new one, it was a little messy. Anyway, he basically asked what I wanted for a CL and then asked if he matched my other FIA cards would that be enough lol..I agreed. I don't think I would have gotten that type of limit through the online app.


agp
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Postby agp » Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:43 pm

Credit unions are usually a bit more cautious with it comes to credit cards. When you are applying for a CU card expect to be asked to fax your proof of income and or some form of ID. Therefore, I would say Fidelity will be easier than Penfed.

Main Card: Amex Platinum
For gas: Penfed Platinum Cash Rewards
For travel & dining: Chase Sapphire Preferred

jeffysdad
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Postby jeffysdad » Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:21 am

2%+, I have a question. Your sig lists Accelerated Cash Amex and BofA Cash Visa under FIA. I know FIA is a unit of BofA, but don't these two cards fall under BofA and not FIA? I'm wondering because while I really like the FIA website (unlike some who think it's too basic, which it is), I don't care for the BofA website.

Do you manage these accounts through FIA or through the BofA interface? I'm just curious.
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (Amazon.com, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.

2percentPlus
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Postby 2percentPlus » Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:46 am

agp wrote:Credit unions are usually a bit more cautious with it comes to credit cards. When you are applying for a CU card expect to be asked to fax your proof of income and or some form of ID. Therefore, I would say Fidelity will be easier than Penfed.


Technically, sure, two are BofA and one is FIA. I consider them all FIA since when I have an issue I call FIA Authorizations and they handle any of the cards. I don't mess with the phone numbers on the back of the card.

Personally, I don't like the FIA website. I asked prior to getting the Fidelity if it could be managed on BofA, but the answer is no it can't be. More of a brand name clash than anything else. I wish the Fidelity or other FIA cards could be managed on BofA because that's where I have my checking accounts. The dumb part is that FIA wouldn't let me create a username that was the same as my BofA username, said it already existed, but I couldn't use it or log in to FIA with it. They are the same thing, they just don't want to have a Fidelity brand on the BofA site...stupid.

The BofA site is a easier for me to read, for one because it is sorted from newest to oldest transaction, unlike FIA you have to scroll to the bottom. Payments are easier on FIA because they are called payments, on BofA you have to make a transfer or mess around with their stupid bill pay setup which is ridiculous if you spend your CL 3-4x over in a month.

One good thing with both BofA and FIA is that they show pending credit transactions immediately, I haven't seen that on Amex, Citi or Discover.

jeffysdad
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Postby jeffysdad » Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:14 pm

Discover recently began showing pending transactions. In fact, they recently had a customer comment on the website thanking them for doing so. I don't know about Amex or Citi. One that doesn't is US Bank, as I've just discovered with my new Cash+card.
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (Amazon.com, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.


Ratfacedudeguy
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Postby Ratfacedudeguy » Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:34 pm

Citi doesn't show pending transactions either, and I can't stand it!
Amex Green - NPSL - 05/12
Amex Zync - NPSL - 06/12
Discover it - $7750 - 11/12
Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature - $5000 - 11/12
SECU Platinum Visa - $5000 - 08/08
Bank of America Cash Rewards Platinum Plus Visa - $3000 - 06/08
Citi Diamond Preferred Mastercard - $3000 - 05/12
GECRB Old Navy Visa - $2500 - 11/12
Chase Amazon Visa - $2000 - 11/12
Chase Freedom Visa - $2000 - 07/12
Citi Thank You Visa - $1000 - 06/12
Amex Blue Cash Everyday - $1000 - 01/13

cjohnrun
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Postby cjohnrun » Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:54 pm

hematino wrote:I opened a checking account, thinking maybe they wouldn't suspect I had only joined to get their credit cards. The rep was really nice and since they will hard pull your credit to open a savings/checking account anyway, he must have seen that I fit whatever criteria they look for to open a credit card-- he invited me at least twice to check out their credit cards and auto loans and apply if interested. I waited about a month after opening those accounts and funding the checking account with direct deposit, to make it look like I was at first unaware of the credit cards.


Thanks. I'll probably do the same: fund a checking account with direct deposit for a little over a month before applying for the Cash Rewards card. Then shortly after that, I could apply for the Fidelity.

What are the chances of FIA seeing the inquiry or new TL within that second month? (That would be the month after the initial PenFed inquiry and the same month as the opening of the new credit card if I am lucky enough to get it.) From what I've read, I expect they would see the inquiry only if both pulled from the same CRA, which is unlikely if everything goes smoothly, and the new line of credit wouldn't show up at least until the first statement closes. Am I right?

2percentPlus wrote:One good thing with both BofA and FIA is that they show pending credit transactions immediately, I haven't seen that on Amex, Citi or Discover.


I think transactions pending for my AmEx show immediately these days. I'll take a look after my next purchase.

DavidNY
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Postby DavidNY » Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:37 pm

jeffysdad wrote:In fact, they recently had a customer comment on the website thanking them for doing so
I see that quote every time I check in over there. Weird.



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