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I met Isaac a year ago. He joined my Facebook travel group, Daddy Travels Now on Facebook, and he began learning the ins and outs of earning miles and points via credit cards. What made this quite interesting, not only did Isaac not have any background knowledge, but he was actually quite young, he was just 18 at the time, and didn’t have a lot of experience or credit history.
Not only do we talk about different credit card offers over on my Daddy Travels on Facebook Group, we also made sure to discuss the importance of:
- paying your bills in full
- paying your bills on time
Especially when it comes to meeting minimum spend, we talk about making sure you have a plan, a roadmap how to achieve this, that going in to this “hobby” without a plan could be disastrous.
Isaac joined my group right around the same time when Chase increased the offer on the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card from 60,000 bonus points to 80,000. The minimum spend requirement on this card was $4,000 in purchases within the first three months from account opening. I was quite vocal as to how great of an offer it was, and at the time, the 80,000 bonus points offer was the highest offer ever. I shared many ways how these points earned with Chase have taken me and my family around the world. Naturally, Isaac wanted to have that card. However, the odds were against him. He didn’t have much history, and I had told him to take a step back and advised him to take the necessary steps in building his credit.
He agreed to share his journey, and I’m excited to share this with you. Here’s Isaac’s story:
From having no background
When I started my journey, I was completely new to the credit card game. I was just 18 years old, had no experience with either credit or debit cards, and had no credit history to my name. After joining a few travel groups, I stumbled upon Daddy Travels Now on Facebook, where I began to get an idea about how traveling via miles and points worked. At first, it was rather overwhelming to hear about all the cards I could apply for but one credit card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred aka CSP, stood out as an excellent card with a high sign-up bonus and a surprisingly low annual fee.
But, I wasn’t ready to apply a Chase Sapphire Preferred
The CSP wasn’t a card for beginners, especially those with little to no credit history. With Jason’s advice, I selected the Discover it® Cash Back card as my first credit card under my name. Jason’s eldest son had just gotten approved for a Discover it® Cash Back. The difference between me and his son, I didn’t have any credit history at all, his son, at the time, had been named an Authorized User on one of Jason’s credit card accounts. However, Jason decided that his son needed to apply for his own credit card under his own name without mom or dad as co-signer. And that’s exactly what I ended up doing. I was never added as an authorized user to any of my parents’ cards. Instead, they encouraged me to build my own credit history with the cards I already owned.
The Discover it® Cash Back card was a simple card, with a 1% cash back rate and rotating bonus categories, as well as no annual fee. I applied for the card in October 2020 and was instantly approved. I also got a $50 bonus after I made my first purchase, which was awesome. In addition to opening my Discover it® Cash Back card, I applied for Kikoff’s $12 credit builder loan. (Highly recommend).
As much as I wanted to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s 80,000 bonus offer, I listened to Jason’s advise to give it about a year, and for us to revisit and try for the Chase card a year from Oct 2020. I had to be patient.
I applied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred a few months in but failed
In May 2021, I decided to try and apply for the CSP myself. I had slim hopes that I’d be approved. I learned that you need at least one year of credit history to be considered for the CSP. The second time I was rejected, Chase added “Insufficient funds in deposit accounts with us” to the rejection letter, which resulted in me opening a checking account with them to fix that. I also received a $200 bonus in the process.
I applied for other cards somewhere in between
I’ve opened a few other cards, including the Chase Freedom Unlimited (CFU), Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, and the Hilton Honors American Express Card. I feel the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Hilton Honors American Express Card were good choices, but I regret getting the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card. At the time it seemed like a decent option, and the email they sent was very fancy, but since then I’ve come to realize that the benefits weren’t enough to justify taking up a valuable 5/24 slot.
A year after getting my first credit card
The bonus offer on the Chase Sapphire Preferred rose to 100,000 bonus points. The minimum spend requirement on this card was $4,000 in purchases within the first three months from account opening. I had to wait a full year to give myself a chance to apply for it again in October 2021. This was exactly 12 months after being approved for my Discover it® Cash Back card. I applied for my first credit card mid-October 2020, and my Chase Sapphire Preferred in early October 2021. I got instant approval. This makes me think that Chase calculates your credit history to the month, and not the day. My credit score is in the 720s which is considered “good” credit. By the time I got approved, the total length of my personal credit history was 12 months.
Talk about applying the right in the nick of time. Just a few days after getting approved, Chase ended its 100,000 bonus offer promotion. The bonus offer as of October 7 dropped down to 60,000 points.
To meet the $4,000 minimum spend
When I applied for the card, I had a few large expenses coming up that I knew would take a big chunk out of my minimum spend. The rest should be achievable with everyday spending.
Isaac’s plans for the 100K bonus
My family is considering a trip to China in 2022, which would be a great way to use the 100K, and I’m also hoping to visit Costa Rica again in the near future.
The first thing to keep in mind is that even though you’re going to be eligible for a lot of cards, you can’t just start applying for all of them. You have to consider things like 5/24 status, annual fees, and the pros outweigh the cons.
I’m sure Isaac felt anxious that he had to endure a full year of having to wait for the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Honestly though, to be 19 and be approved this highly coveted credit card with its 100,000 bonus offer…that’s amazing. In hindsight, it all worked out in the end. He got approved with the 100,000 bonus offer just days before that offer ended. I told Isaac many times to stay the course. It takes time, patience, and creative strategies to do what he did. He had to take a step back and had to initially choose a different credit card, but the steps that he took were necessary to build his credit history and worthiness. Congratulations again, Isaac.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.All information about Discover it® Cash Back has been collected independently by Daddy Travels Now.