I just got off the phone with a representative at Chase to talk about my Ink Bold card application (the phone number is 800-453-9719 for those that are interested). I applied for the Ink Bold last weekend but was told they would have to consider my application and get back to me. Since I’ve never held a business card before, I called them up to explain my business and see what they could do. (If you’re interested in applying, here are links to the current best offers for the Ink Bold, a charge card, and the Ink Plus, a credit card that lets you carry a balance. As of this update, both offer 50K points after spending $5,000 in three months.)
Most of the call went well enough. I’m still seeing an increase in readers from week to week, and I was able to give the rep an estimate of my annual income from the blog. I also told him I have a real job, so this was not my sole source of income.
However… I have a problem with being too honest sometimes, and it puts me in these pickles. When he asked me what my income was, I corrected myself and explained that the household income I reported was part mine and part Megan’s. It seems fair to me since we’ve been together three years, are engaged, and share all expenses. Plus they didn’t ask for individual income, just “gross annual income.” But now I’ve ruined that little charade.
The rep (and Mommy Points is right, they have no personality on the reconsideration line) got a little concerned that I currently have several Chase cards and that, using my individual income, my available credit to income ratio is already at 100%. He originally suggested slashing my Sapphire credit line in half ($18,000 to $9,000) in order to give me a $5,000 line on my Ink Bold card. Then he went further are suggested cutting ALL of my credit lines in half ($48,000 to $24,000, not including the recent United Club card that was approved) and even possibly closing one or two. I would still only get $5,000 on the Ink Bold. I can certainly see why he liked this idea, since it would bring me under 100% of my individual income, but it would be a big difference from what I’m used to.
I was able to steer him back to the idea of cutting only the Sapphire Preferred card, telling him I liked all of my cards, the benefits were great, and I didn’t want to close any of them. I really don’t need more than a $10,000 limit on any one card, but sometimes if I’m booking tickets for a family member, like my for my dad’s business trip to India last fall, it does help to have a higher limit.
But I’m not really sure where I stand right now. He said he would put in a recommendation that my Sapphire credit line be reduced from $18,000 to $10,000 and that I be approved for a line of $5,000 on the Ink Bold. But he also said that there was currently an internal hold on my application and that they would get back to me in two weeks. Is this normal? It sounds like he’s just mentioning a standard processing delay while they issue and mail the card, but I’m concerned that I’ve gotten myself into serious trouble. Well, maybe not so serious. I can survive if I have to cut all my accounts. I just won’t be happy about it. 🙁
Put this down to my honesty problem. I have too much of it. A couple weeks ago I was giving a practice talk in lab and mentioned that some of the treatments were inconsistent because of a “finicky laser” but that overall it didn’t appear to affect the results of my experiment. My advisor buried his face in his hands and said, “Do not, DO NOT, say the laser is finicky. PLEASE!” Point taken, but sometimes my efforts to be transparent get the better of me.
One of my readers commented in an earlier post about how odd it is that I always pay my annual fees and don’t try to ask for a fee waiver when it’s time to renew–that this doesn’t really go along with the “hacking” theme of my blog. Maybe not, but I enjoy using all of the cards that I have. I fulfill the spending requirements to the best of my abilities without using coins or Amazon Payments, and I continue to use most of them (at least to this point) since I usually get the cards for other benefits associated with ongoing spend.
Is it possible to be an “ethical” card churner? I think so. I try to make sure that the deal is good for me and for the bank. This conversation may have gone even worse if two of my accounts were sitting unused for months, but the rep did note that they all had balances on them and complimented me on being a good customer. I like to think that counts for something. But should I be worried about the status of my application? I don’t know yet. I think it may be pushing it to call again after this mistake, so I guess we’ll see what happens in two weeks.