"What Credit Card Should I get?", "How do you get so many points?", "Can you teach me senpai?", these and many other questions are brought up to me all the time. Right now, I am going to tackle the biggest one by letting you know where to start in the credit card game. The first credit card that you get to start churning for miles is of utmost importance because it will define your ideal path of progress. As almost every Churner out there, I recommend starting with Chase and hitting it hard.
The reason I recommend starting with Chase is because they have a strict rule regarding their UR earning cards. The rule also applies to some other affiliate cards (SW, MPE, etc) and it is referred to as 5/24. This rule means that you will be auto-denied if you have opened 5 or more credit cards in the last 24 months. Your 5/24 number excludes business credit cards because they do not appear on your personal credit report. To calculate your 5/24 status, create an account on Credit Karma and follow the steps below:
- Login and click on the Accounts tab.
- Click on the account you would like to check.
- Find out the age of this card.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 with each credit card and add up the total number that were opened within 24 months.
Great! If you are under 5/24 head onto the next section to read about Chase cards, otherwise stay tuned for a later post regarding post 5/24.
Now that you know your status, here are my recommendations on where to start and how many points each card will net you.
0/24 or 1/24 With No Chase Credit Cards
If you are at 0/24 or 1/24 then be prepared to get a lot of points in a small amount of time. To do so, there are a set number of assumptions I will be making.
- You will apply for credit cards with annual fees (check out my previous post if you are unsure of this)
- You have a credit score of at least low to mid 700s
- You have some credit card history
If the above 3 stipulations do not apply to you, then I would not follow this path. If you have absolutely no credit history then I would recommend applying for a card such as the Discover It. This will let you build some credit history before applying to Chase cards. They will deny you if your file is too thin so at least one year of history is necessary.
Now if you have that one year of history but no Chase cards then I would recommend getting the Chase Freedom first.
This card is an intro credit card with no annual fee and a 15k UR sign up bonus. The real value in this card comes from the 5x points on rotating categories. For Q1 of 2018 the category is mobile payments so literally any mobile wallet purchase (appple pay, samsung pay, android pay, etc.) will net you 5 points per dollar. Once you have have had this card for around a year, it is time to keep chugging. Check out my dedicated post on this if you are in this boat.
0/24 or 1/24 With Chase History
Okay, moving forward I am going to assume that you have decent credit history and at least 1 credit card with Chase for a year. At this point, it is time to hit the big cards starting with a double dip.
You will be getting two cards in the same day because Chase has a rule where a person can only hold one Sapphire product at a time and the CSP and CSR are both in this family. If you currently hold one you will not be approved for the other, therefore, in order to get both you need to double dip. To do so, open up the application pages in two separate browsers in incognito mode. Apply for the harder one to get first, in this case the CSR, and if you are not auto approved, call 888-270-2127 which is the reconsideration line and plead your case.
Now that you have been approved for the CSR, it is time to hit the CSP. Wait a few minutes after approval but within the same day, and then go ahead and apply for this one as well. There is no need to recon this same day, all that matters for the second application is getting the app in on time.
Yay!! You have successfully completed your first double dip and will be assumed to be at 3/24 with 120k UR. There is a 50K UR sign up bonus for both the CSR and the CSP with an addition 5k UR bonus on the CSP for adding an AU within the first 3 months (I added my imaginary cat). After adding in the 15k UR from the Freedom that gets you a ton of points without even including spending and bonus categories!
The next step requires you to wait at least 30 days after your previous applications because you will be applying for a business card. If you have never done so before, check out my upcoming post about applying for biz cards without an official business.
This next card is the holy grail of credit cards. It nets you a whopping 80k UR as a sign up bonus for spending $5k in 3 months. If that sounds like a lot, don't worry, a later post will outline exactly how to hit that requirement without spending $5k.
The Chase Ink Preferred is a business credit card that will get you 3x points on travel, advertising, and utilities but the real sweet spot are those 80k UR.
Due to this being a biz card you will maintain your 5/24 status at whatever you were beforehand. At this point there are no real must have cards. Everything else is pretty much up to personal preference. If you have kids or a SO I would recommend blowing two cards on the SW credit cards in order to get the Companion Pass. I'll outline the benefits and a good guide on how to get it at a later date.
Congratulations on taking the first steps into Churning, I hope I can help you on your journey to amass an incredible amount of points. Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions!