After spending literally years not caring about being over Chase 5/24, I finally put the brakes on my credit card strategy in 2018. Inquiries and new accounts slowly fell off my report, and I was able to get a Chase Ink Unlimited and a Chase Ink Preferred in short succession over the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020. These were my first Chase cards since 2016 (I think), and I was ecstatic.
But now I’m faced with a dilemma: holding at 3/24 or 4/24 (not 100% sure where I currently am, based on credit reports), I’d like to get some more business cards before pushing above 5/24 once again. The question is…is this even possible with Chase? Should I even try?
Business Cards Are A Tough Sell Right Now
Business credit card approvals aren’t exactly easy at the moment. I’ve generally found them to be much harder than personal card applications, but on the whole, I’ve been approved for new products more often than not. My second Chase business card came with a whole lot of headache, and that is the only one (so far) that has been extremely problematic. But that was pre-pandemic.
The reports since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic aren’t great, though. Financial institutions have adjusted their metrics for approving new credit. This appears to apply across the board, but business credit is likely even riskier, during this volatile period. Proactive bank offers for 0% APR have fallen off a cliff (although there are still cards available that offer this benefit).
I’ve not applied for a business credit card in several months, but anecdotal reports from some in the hobby is that approvals are anything but easy. I’m not sure how much worse this is than applications during the same time last year, but the banks are likely tighter. I’m hoping now that the economy is moving better once again that restrictions have eased. But you never seen to know until you try, and I do plan to try.
Three Chase Cards I’m Eyeing
Chase has a great array of co-branded travel cards, as well as their excellent Ink card lineup. I’ve only ever had a few Chase business cards, and it is only in the last year that I finally got myself an Ink. As I have to remind Mark at Miles to Memories from time to time, I do not have an Ink Cash. Yet. Which is why it is at the top of my list:
- Ink Cash – The Ink Cash is a card that I have been missing for way too long. I wanted to apply for it last year, but only the Ink Business Unlimited showed up with a static APR “black star offer” that would likely get me around 5/24. However, my year with the Ink Business Unlimited is nearly up. I could apply for other cards and product change to the Ink Cash in November.
- United Business – The United Business card is one that I have wanted to get for a while. The main reason it that it would allow me to drop my no-fee United card that I keep solely for access to expanded “XN” saver award space. The United business card offers this as well, and I would likely keep it long term for the ancillary benefits.
- Southwest Performance Business – This one makes the list due to its elevated sign-up bonus. I’d also hope to apply, not be approved immediately, and then work with Chase to be approved during the beginning of October. This would place the end of my 3-month window into early 2021, letting me earn a companion pass for nearly two full years. The other side of me says that this is too much work. I’ve barely flown Southwest in the last few years, and while a Companion pass would be nice in theory, we would do lots of driving to the Bay Area or Sacramento to use it.
Is It Worth Rocking the Boat?
I have a total of eight credit cards with Chase: six personal cards and two business cards. There are only a couple that I would be 100% willing to sacrifice. Disrupting my relationship with Chase would be a massive blow to my strategy in this hobby. I am pretty well diversified between American Express, Citi, and Chase these days, though. Not all would be lost.
I’ve read the shutdown stories, and I’m pretty risk adverse. While I don’t send up many red flags, such as cycling my credit limit, I do max out a card from time to time with large purchases (*cough* Simon *cough*). That’s not going to change anytime soon. On the whole, I have put a lot of spend on Chase cards and have not missed payments. I should meet the “good customer” metrics.
With over six months since my last Chase application, I figure it could be time to try again.
I’d like to pick up one or two business cards with other issuers before the end of the year as well. However, I don’t have a lot of options left. American Express has moved to a 4-card limit. This took me from having a free “slot” to being stuck with my lineup. I have to hold out until at least December. That’s when I’d feel comfortable canceling one of the cards without risking a clawback.
I’m pretty maxed with Barclays (at least I feel like it with two business cards), and Bank of America shot me down last time I applied for anything. Things are certainly tougher than they used to be.
What are your plans during the next several months? Has your credit card strategy changed at all during the pandemic?