If you’ve been playing this game for a while, you’re familiar with the rules that banks have in regards to new applications. Some of them can be downright confusing. To make things more complicated, banks can change the rules at any time, like when AMEX started to allow customers to have only four charge cards open at a time.
I was happy with our AMEX card lineup but then I received a mailer offering Sharon 175,000 Hilton Honors points to get the Hilton Surpass card. The only problem was that Sharon already has 4 AMEX credit cards.
She couldn’t apply for a new one without canceling one of her current cards. Her current AMEX lineup included the following cards:
The one which was the least valuable is the Delta Skymiles Gold card. I already have the Delta Business Gold Skymiles card and many of the benefits overlap unless we’re flying separately. Since we’re not currently flying at all, this was an easy card to let go of.
Unfortunately for me, this meant that I had to ask Sharon to call a bank, which she hates to do [Note from Sharon: I’m a firm believer that text messages > phone calls]. I try to limit these encounters but this one was necessary. Fortunately, I was only asking her to cancel her card, not to ask for a retention offer like I did during our year of retention offers.
I sat in the room as she called American Express and repeatedly said to the automated system that she wanted to cancel. I was hoping she’d be one of those people who managed to cancel a card without talking to a real person, but no such luck. She was connected to a representative to whom she politely said she didn’t want the card anymore because we weren’t flying right now and had no intention to do so in the near future.
The rep immediately offered Sharon a $50 statement credit if we spent $500 on the card. I had given her directions to close the card so she declined. The rep then came up with another offer which Sharon can’t remember because I told her we were canceling the card no matter what.
There was no attempt to send her to a retention specialist and after the initial offers, her card was canceled. This is what I wanted because now I can try to sign up for the targeted Hilton offer.
My plan is to get her a Chase Freedom Unlimited card with a 20,000 point bonus after spending $500 in the first three months plus 5x points on groceries for the first year. Once she’s applied for a Chase card, we’ll try for the Hilton 175,000 point bonus for the Hilton Surpass AMEX card.
I’ve taken it easy on Sharon when it comes to applying for new cards. That’s probably why she has a perfect credit score. That’s sure to go down after applying for two new cards but the goal isn’t to be perfect. It’s to be good enough to keep getting these great sign up offers.
Have you ever needed to look at your AMEX card portfolio and decide which one had to go so you could apply for a new card?
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary