CarefulBuilder14 wrote:Did your travel hacking make it more expensive to get a mortgage?
Not at all. I had a few inquiries to explain, but the bank seemed comfortable with everything. Oddly enough, they asked my wife to close her only credit card because it had a balance and the minimum payment threw off our DTI. (I have a post somewhere about our mortgage experience that explains things.) But, my 20 cards were fine because I didn't have any balances. I was just barely "second tier" when we applied, so we lost about an eighth on the rate, but that was due to an old, paid derogatory that has since fallen off, not due to churning.
CarefulBuilder14 wrote:I assume your AAoA is significantly lower than your oldest open account. Did the mortgage come before the travel hacking?
2.1 years vs. 9 years. Mortgage came right in the middle of hacking. I pulled a Member. I had six new accounts within six months of applying for the mortgage, mainly because the mortgage was unexpected. Wife found a new job, we applied for pre-approval less than a month later and closed less than a month after that.
CarefulBuilder14 wrote:Or is it the case that once you have a few 'keeper' cards with a few years of clean history, a low AAoA doesn't really hurt you?
That is also true. I have a Freedom, a Discover IT, and an REI Visa that sit around accumulating age. The CSP is pretty well seasoned, too. Amex backdating also helps.
I've reached the point where I don't need to constantly churn anymore. I have a decent stash of AA miles built up (330k once the latest bonus spend is done) and get about 5,000 MR and UR points a month just from normal spending thanks to Ink's 5x and the Everyday Preferred 4.5x on groceries. Side effect - I'm perfectly positioned to take advantage of the next big bonus offer.
[RIGHT][size=100]- Sapphire Preferred - Freedom - Ink - Platinum - Everyday Preferred -[/size]