Please read my disclaimer.

Two weeks ago, I wrote a blog entry on our journey in getting the Chase Sapphire Reserve. img_0210
When I said our,  I meant me and my wife, Nancy. Click here for that blog entry, The Hamilton of Credit Cards. In a nutshell, as someone who uses airline miles and credit card bonus points that supplement our desire to travel around the world, finding the right credit card is key to this hobby. I’m a firm believer that NOT all credit cards are created equal.There were two credit cards that were out of reach for me, the Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP), and the Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR). Why?  It was all because of:

The Chase 5/24 Rule

…five credit cards opened in the past 24 months. Simply put, it means that “You will not be approved for this card if you have opened 5 or more bank cards in the past 24 months.”

So I had to take a look at my portfolio of credit cards and counted them, how many of them were opened within the past 24 months, including other card issuers and not just Chase. I counted the # of credit cards I opened myself, and I also counted the # of times Nancy included me as an Authorized User on her credit card account.

  • 10/24 – 10 cards under my own name
  • 4/24 – 4 cards where I am an Authorized User
  • Total – 14/24 cards opened within 24 months

Since I was 14/24,  Chase did not think I was worthychase-sapphire-preferred enough to get one of their prestigious cards. I wanted the Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) click for more info – so badly – the 50,000 bonus points are good enough for two roundtrip tickets to Hawaii (click here to apply or for more info). I applied for it three times and failed (between 2015 and 2016). It was not because of my income, not because of my credit score, but because of the # of new credit cards I had opened within the past 24 months. I also applied for the Chase Ink+ card twice, and failed. My ego was hurt. Well, not really, but it bothered me. I vowed to find a way for this to work in my favor.

Wandered Aimlessly Around Lisbon
Walking around Lisbon (Aug 2016)

Then in the summer of 2016, Chase rolled out their newest lucrative card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR) with all the bells and whistles plus a whopping 100,000 bonus points. I was roaming around the streets of Lisbon when this was rolled out. I knew I’d fail if I applied, so I didn’t. Instead this was the timeline of 2016 activities I did to chase Chase (pun intended).

Chasing Chase – a true story starring DaddyTravels

  1. March – applied for Chase Sapphire Preferred for the 3rd time in 18 months, declined for having too many cards open
  2. April –  got approved for two new Chase cards IHG and Hyatt
  3. August – Chase introduced the CSR with 100K bonus, I did not apply
  4. September – no pre approvals for any cards, did not get any card offers
    • I applied for Chase Ink+ – declined for having too many credit cards open
    • Nancy applied for CSR, got declined for having too many credit cards open,
    • Enlisted the assistance of a Chase Private Client banker/friend to get the denial reconsidered, no change.

      CPC Bankers are approachable, and they helped me, too.
  5. October – I lowered my credit card limits on 4-5 cards that I was not using (by $30K-$40K). I consulted a few folks on Reddit.
  6. Early November – I started getting a pre approval for Slate and Freedom Unlimited (I didn’t apply for them though)
  7. End of November – Cleaned up our Authorized User statuses. We were  AUs on about 4-5  accounts. Chase also had us work with their Credit Bureau team to reflect the AU removal from our credit report. The only AU I kept was my wife’s CSP. I use the CSP a lot so I kept myself as an AU.
  8. Early December – one week after we cleaned up our AU status, my wife dropped down to 7/24, she got a CSR pre approval, she applied…GOT IT. With me, no change.
  9. Mid-December – checked with a banker again, no change other than Slate and Freedom Unlimited pre approvals for me. Banker had an idea, “maybe the reason you’re not getting a Chase Sapphire offer was because you already have a Chase Sapphire card (even though you’re only an AU).”
  10. December 19 (Monday) – I removed myself as an AU on my wife’s CSP, then I was transferred to the Credit Bureau team with Chase to reflect the removal from my credit report. I also had the banker update my income info under my Chase profile.
  11. December 22 (Thursday) – I called my banker and I heard the beautiful words, “Alas! You’re now pre approved the Chase Sapphire Reserve!!!”

By the time I got this pre-approval, I went from being 14/24 to 8/24.
Yaaassssss!!! So, did I hallelujah-49-728apply? No, not just yet. What???? Well, I’m taking this in stride. Nancy just got her CSR two weeks ago. We managed to move her due date to 12/28 which gave us the opportunity to take advantage of $300 Travel Credit. We billed our timeshare maintenance fee using the CSR. Plus, we still have to meet the $4,000 spend on her CSR which will be no problem. I will apply for the CSR eventually. I don’t have any plans on applying for any other cards right now.

screen-shot-2016-12-22-at-11-09-00-pmscreen-shot-2016-12-22-at-11-09-16-pm

What’s the takeaway?

Research, research, research. I asked lots of questions from the experts. While the journey to getting the coveted pre approval might have taken awhile, it gave me something to strive for. It allowed me to also review my credit report. In the end, it was all very worth it.

What about you? Do you have a similar situation that prevented you from getting your coveted card? What did you do?

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