I have yet to write a post like this one, even though I frequently get questions about how many cards I sign up for and how often. The reason I held off till now is because I never had a high turnover in such a short period of time due to the nature of the Canadian credit card market. Typically, I spaced out my applications throughout the year, so there would not have been much to write about… until now!
You have probably read about the concept of App-O-Rama from many different American bloggers. But for those of you who are not familiar with this concept, basically, it’s the act of cancelling and applying for a bunch of cards every 91 days (i.e. every quarter). The reason for this is because after 91 days, that’s 3 monthly cycles, whereby your credit score would have recovered to the point where you can apply for more credit cards. Every 3 months, it is a good time to leverage your higher credit score to qualify for several cards at once. The reason we would apply to 3-4 at once is because it used to take more time for the credit bureau to update our credit scores. So if you apply for 3-4 on the same day, all institutions would see the same high credit score to help you qualify for your credit card. I’ve been told that credit bureaus have really clamped down on this and update our scores more instantly now. But this is a topic for another day.
*You can read more about credit scores in our designation section of the blog: Credit Scores Section.
8 Credit Cards Turnover
Just in the last 10 days, my wife and I (we team up to build a combined portfolio), cancelled 5 credit cards and applied for 3 new ones. I cannot remember the last time I had a 8 card blitz turnover in less than 10 days. So I thought I’d share what we did and provide our rational. Below is a list of all the cards that we cancelled and sign up for, along with the rational.
I applied for this card when it had the 35,000 sign up bonus, first year fee waived if we spend $1,000 within the first 3 months. I received the sign up bonus and managed to take advantage of the lounge pass as I flew on an Air Canada, Aeroplan reward flight over the summer. Personally, I felt like I really maxed out the value with this card, so I am very happy with it. However, it was time to retire the card because I cannot justify the $180 renewal fee.
Unfortunately, going forward, it will not be as easy for people to qualify for this card as they really clamped down on the paperwork needed to prove your business income. To be fair, CIBC is still offering the 35,000 sign up bonus and first year fee waived, which expires on March 1, 2020. So if you can take advantage of this offer now, I would go for it!
We each applied for this card when it had the 30,000 sign up bonus, first year fee waived after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months. Just like what was mentioned above, we received the sign up bonus and managed to take advantage of the lounge pass, albeit over the Christmas holidays. So we are really happy with how things turned out with this card.
There is currently as similar offer, though not as good. The first year fee is still waived, but the 30,000 sign up bonus miles offer is very different. You can earn 15,000 Aeroplan miles after the first purchase and earn 5x the miles, up to 15,000 in bonuses in the first 3 months if you apply before March 2, 2020.
We applied for this card when it had the 15,000 sign up bonus, first year fee waived after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months. Unfortunately the earning ratios on this card are too low to justify keeping it. I would argue that the current offer is better than what we got. Right now, there is a 25,000 sign up bonus, where you can earn 10,000 Aeroplan miles after the first purchase and earn 5x the miles, up to 15,000 in bonuses in the first 3 months if you apply before March 2, 2020.
If you add up all the sign up bonuses mentioned above, it totals 114,000 Aeroplan miles (35,000 CIBC + 30,000 TD + 30,000 TD + 15,000 TD + at least 4,000 in spending), a nice temporary bump to our portfolio at the time. But as mentioned above, we used up our Aeroplan lounge passes on Air Canada flights, so that means the miles were used too.
Earn and burn at its best!
We got this card during the frequent current bonus offer (that has been going on for a while). We had the annual fee waived and 35,000 sign up bonus. The points were used to book a hotel in downtown Toronto for a wedding over the summer. All 4 lounge passes were used as well. So I would say we did very well with this card, even though it is time to retire the card and try a different BMO World Elite card (see below).
By no means was this 8 card turnover planned. It just happened coincidentally. I guess that’s how things play out sometimes because opportunities can come up any time. What got the ball rolling was that we had some large expenses coming up, so mine as well load up some new sign up bonuses.
This was the first card that got the ball rolling. Oddly enough, we never had this card before. Since the American Express Air Miles Platinum days (over 5 years ago), we have not had an Air Miles co-branded card. I thought it was about time to try this card out. We signed up for it with a 3,000 sign up bonus after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months and first year fee waived.
For this one, I saw a Facebook Ad mentioning that if we apply by January 10, 2020, we would receive 25,000 sign up bonus after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months. This came with a first year fee waived offer. I only saw this on January 9, so I applied for it on the spot using the Facebook Ad link. I had my doubts on whether this was real, but I received the card and they see that the offer stands. I made my $1,000 spending already, because I had a bill waiting, so I will find out in my next monthly cycle if everything comes through as advertised.
Remember in cases like these where we have doubts about the offer, save a screen shot of the offer, which is what I did (see image below).
This last card I applied to on January 16, which is 1 day after the current offer was introduced. The current offer runs from January 15, 2020 to July 5, 2020 where we can earn 35,000 bonus Aeroplan miles and first year fee waived. The sign up bonus is broken down as follows: earn 20,000 sign up bonus after the first purchases, and 15,000 more after spending $10,000 within the first calendar year.
Final count on the new cards:
- No annual fees
- $4,000 in spending requirements
- Up to 35,000 Aeroplan miles
- Up to 25,000 RBC Avion points
- Up to 3,000 Air Miles
So there you go, my 8 card turnover between my wife and I, which we did not expect to do. We probably could have been more aggressive than what we did. It just goes to show that opportunities can arise any time, so you just need to be ready to roll!
Please let us know in the comment section below if you found this post helpful, so that if another App-O-Rama ever happens again, I’ll be sure to post about it too!