With the launch of the Chase Sapphire Reserve I decided is was time again to launch a new round of credit card applications.

This round was actually rather impromptu. It began when I was at my local Chase branch opening up a personal and business checking account for the $500 bonuses.


Having a Chase checking account may help getting pre-approved for the CSR?

During this process banker told me I was pre-approved for either of the Ink business credit cards, which at the moment I declined.

Fast forward several days. The Chase Sapphire Reserve is released and I thought I should at least inquire with my banker to see if the card shows up under my pre-approved offers.

I figured it was a long shot since I was over 5/24, but surprisingly this time around every personal Ultimate Rewards points earning credit card popped up for me. Immediately decided to apply for the Sapphire Reserve to bank the 100,000 points.

This also makes me think that having being an existing Chase banking (savings or checking account) customer immensely increases your chances for being pre-approved for credit cards.

After applying for the Sapphire Reserve in branch I decided to do a small app-o-rama and applied for several other cards.

Here are the cards that I applied for and the results:

Barclays Miles & More World Elite MasterCard

Bonus: 50,000 bonus miles

Link: Barclays Miles & More World Elite MasterCard

I’ve currently have several other Barclaycard credit cards such as the Arrival Plus, Wyndham Rewards Visa, but have never applied for the Barclays Miles & More credit card.

The card has periodically offered an increased sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles in the past and I’ve always thrown around the idea of grabbing it. This time around I applied and what I particularly like about this sign-up bonus is that it can be worth a round trip from the Europe to the US, vice versa when redeemed for a Mileage Bargain awards.

Yes, there are high fuel surcharges (~$500+) if the award is flown on Lufthansa or Austrian Airlines, but if you are flexible you can get around them by booking on Polish LOT.

Data point: I currently have 2 other Barlcaycard credit cards (Arrival Plus & Wyndham Rewards Visa)

Result: Approved!

Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card

Bonus: 75,000 points

The Citi Hilton HHonors Visa is a great no annual fee card that offers a hefty sign-up bonus. The spending requirement is higher on this card when the bonus is at the higher 75,000 point level (normally 40,000 points).

I decided to grab this card again since I have Hilton Diamond status earned from the status match earlier this year.

Data point: I may have screwed this one up. I had a Citi Hilton HHonors card open when I applied and was approved for this second card. The bonus tracker showed up on my account so I decided to hit the minimum spend and will wait to see if the bonus posts.

Result: Approved!

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Bonus: 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points

The bottom line is that the Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers a ton of value. It comes with a huge 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points sign-up bonus, offers a $300 travel credit each year, free airport lounge access, and $100 credit for Global Entry.

This card easily pays for itself ($450 annual fee) if the travel benefits can be maximized. For instance, the $300 travel credit can be used twice ($600 total) before the second annual fee hits.

Data point: I was pre-approved in branch.

Result: Approved!

Chase British Airways Visa

Bonus: 50,000 miles

I have never had this card and given that there are reports that it is not included under Chase’s 5/24 rule I thought I would apply.

Data point: Over 5/24 and approved.

Result: Approved!

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Bonus: 40,000 miles

Link: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The fact that Capital One tends to pull all three credit bureaus normally makes me shy away from applying for their cards. However, I decided to apply for the Capital One Venture card to see if I could earn the 40,000 mile bonus which is worth$400 in travel.

Result: Denied.

US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Card

Bonus: 38,400 FlexPerks points

Link: Offer no longer available

The US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa has offered an increased sign-up bonus during the Olympics. You can earn the standard 20,000 point bonus plus additional points depending on how many medals the US Olympic team earns during the Olympics.

This year it came to a total of 38,400 points, which is worth close to ~$800 when redeemed for flights.

Result: Denied.

The Bottom Line

Overall I’m satisfied with my most recent round of credit card applications—I’ll earn a total of 275,000 miles and points.

However, the icing on the cake was that I was approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which I thought would be out of reach due to 5/24. Apart from the card’s great 100k point sign-up bonus I highly value the travel benefits that come with the card and they will likely make me keep the card after the first year.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

Bonus: 40,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days.

-- 2X points per dollar spent on all purchases.
-- Get 5% of your miles back when you redeem your points, to use on your next redemption.
-- Chip+PIN technology, which can be useful for international travel.
-- Complimentary online FICO® Credit Score
-- No foreign transaction fees.

Annual fee: $89

Quick review: The Arrival Plus card is one of my favorite all-around 2X earning cards. The 50,000 mile sign-up bonus is worth $525 in free travel and easy to redeem!

About the author

Rand Shoaf

Introduced to traveling at a young age, Rand has since traveled to over 45 countries. Learning how to maximize credit card sign-up bonuses in college has allowed him to earn millions of travel miles and points. Using the same tips and tricks he writes about here has ultimately allowed him to explore the word for pennies on the dollar.

1 Comment

  • Mary, it had been around 7 months since I opened my last Chase credit card. Since I was over 5/24 I hadn’t applied for any new Chase cards in a long while.