OK, after two weeks of waiting after I was initially approved, my Penfed Platinum Rewards Visa came in the mail. Almost immediately I activated it and then balance transferred nearly all of my "toxic" debt to it (nearly $28K).
Of course, this was all part of the plan. With their 0% balance transfer deal for 18 months going on, my wife and I plan to spend every month between March 2013 and September 2014 burning that puppy down. But there's more apps to do before I'm back to the garden.
Next stop is monitoring my credit reports for the Penfed to show up (it hasn't reported yet). When it does, I'll apply for the Fidelity Amex (2% sweetness). Since it's a FIA card, I'm concerned about the fact that I already have a $20K CL with my BofA Cash Reward MC, but we'll see what can be done. I figure I need at least $15K CL on it to swallow my daughter's tuition payment this summer and not get close to the limit (it will be paid off immediately).
Then the magic starts. The Penfed is in my name with my wife not on the card (even as an authorized user) for now. The idea is to reduce her utilization sharply (I estimate down to 25%). Once that happens and it reflects in her scores, then she will app for the following cards in this order:
US Bank Cash +
After hopefully being successful, we'll do authorized user additions to all the new cards (except the BCP) and then we can stand pat for a while so we can get used to how we intend to use these cards and for what purpose going forward. Six months from now I may apply for a BCP of my own so we can get around the $6K a year grocery cap. (they wouldn't turn down a guy who already holds a Amex Plat, ya think?)
Right now, my EQ is 756, with a EX FICO of 732. EX and TU are 755 & 760 respectively. My wife's EQ is right now about 680 due to a strange baddie we didn't realize was there but I don't expect it to get in the way of an app spree once her utilization plummets (I'm hoping for at least a 40 point bump).
This is fun.