ANOTHER 230,000 POINTS IN MY TRAVEL BANK
Well, after three months of weighing my options I finally pulled the trigger on my 2nd quarter credit card apps. Sometimes it’s so hard to decided with so many great offers to choose from. I always sweat and hope I’ll be approved. Don’t know why though. I always end up getting approved. Even with high credit scores sometimes I don’t get an instant approval and I have to call the reconsideration lines for approval. I then have to explain to the representative why they would be crazy not to approve me (Need these numbers – go here). My current credit scores are awesome. Experian 795, Transunion 779, and Equifax 804 (no one ever checks my Equifax report). My husband & I have no debt but our mortgage. No car payments. No negatives on my credit. Never miss a payment. Excellent payment history with Chase, AMEX, Citibank, Barclays, etc. The only negative is the inquires on my reports because of numerous credit card applications over the years. My Experian report currently has 22 inquires. About 5 of these inquires will fall off this year (inquires remain for 2 years) but I’ve put on 6 others. So it’s a wash there. This recent round I seem to have all female reps which I always feel are much harder to work with than male reps (interesting huh). They are much more questioning about why I want this new card and why I have so many inquires. Once I nicely ask them to really take a look at my credit history and remind them how extremely low risk I am to the lender they really have no choice but to approve my request. The bank certainly doesn’t want to be turning away customers with credit scores like mine. You don’t get these type of scores without working for them over the years and making good financial choices. Last quarter I had a fun time discussing with the Bank of America rep why I need two Hawaiian Airlines cards. You see I applied at the same time for both the Hawaiian Airlines card through Bank of America and through Bank of Hawaii but Bank of America services Bank of Hawaii’s card. I just explained that I wanted to separate my expenses. My credit was strong enough so they gave me both cards and just divided the credit limit they would allow me.
My purpose in writing this article is to share with you how your good credit can truly be an incredible asset. You can use this asset to earn free travel (money essentially). You need to be wise and prudent. You need to monitor your credit and not go crazy applying for everything under the sun. You also need to pick your credit card bonuses wisely. Have a travel plan. Set a goal and then go after it. Research the program of the miles/points you are apply for. Will those miles/points help you achieve your travel objective? My style is slow and steady. I apply every 3 months or so for credit cards I’ve done my research on and will help me achieve my upcoming travel goals. Remember, your credit is one of the most valuable assets you have. You don’t want to mess it up. Some people feel as though applying for many credit cards over the years will hurt your credit and impact it in a negative way. This is just not an opinion based upon experience or fact. I know from personal experience this is not the case. I’ve been applying for credit cards to build my “travel bank” for years and my scores are still excellent if not higher than when I started. Just to give you an example I’ve taken a snap shot of my last two year. You will see how my score fluctuates but never drops below an excellent range. Your score actually increases when you get credit cards too. It doesn’t just go down from credit inquires. Each credit card application will decrease your score 2-3 points. Not much and well worth the bonus miles/points you will receive. After a few months go by your score will rebound back up to where it was before. The longer you have good credit history the more it helps to increase your score. Take a look below at my last year in recap.