I’m Feeling Churny! Are You?

This has got to be my most ridiculous headline yet. But if you’ve been around this “cuckoo” hobby of ours for a few months, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. I’m itching to apply for another credit card bonus, of course. Believe it or not, “feeling churny” means something totally different in mommy circles. And no, it has nothing to do with butter.

Apparently, there is this Tula baby wrap that goes for $290 to $600, and thousands on the black market. Who knew there was a black market for baby wraps? Mine was bought for $10 and most of it was shipping charges.

And guess what? There is even a Tula community and Tula lingo. For example, TITW means “Tula in the wild.” When a Tula wearer sees another one, she will scream “Tula in the wild!” The other answers with the birdcall “Caw caw!”  Hmm… Oh, and “feeling churny” describes a mom’s willingness to trade her Tula. Maybe our hobby isn’t that cuckoo after all.


Just look at that juicy worm!

Anyway, my husband just met minimum spending requirements for his Barclaycard Arrival Plus, so it was time for another credit card. As always, I turned to my own list of best sign-up bonuses. I’ve mentioned many times that I only recommend offers that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to suggest to my own family. In fact, when they ask, I usually send them a link to that page. That said, occasionally, there are targeted offers I may not put there, so I suggest you email me if you have any questions.

So, looking at that list, I narrowed it down to three credit cards: Capital One Venture Rewards, Chase British Airways Visa Signature card and Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier. The first two pay me referral, last one does not. There are other good bonuses on my list but I can’t get them for various reasons. See my post The issues of timing and applying for credit cards

I don’t really have any plans for Avios (British Airways currency) within the next three years, so I decided to eliminate their co-branded card from competition. A reminder: Book your 4,500 Avios awards by February 2nd. Some believe in speculative hoarding of points and there is nothing wrong with that. But it’s not my strategy. It drives me nuts to have a ton of unused miles seating around for years, and could prompt me to plan trips we can’t really afford at that particular time. So I eliminate temptation by having a plan first.

And then there were two

So, it came down to Capital One Venture Rewards and Chase Southwest card. As I wrote in this post, you can redeem Rapid Rewards points for gift cards if that’s your preference. Obviously, you will do much better  using this currency for Southwest flights, since you can get around 1.6 cents per point on their Wanna Get Away fares. Rapid Rewards program is “awesome sauce” for middle-class families and most families, for that matter. Love it. You can also get points through transfer from Ultimate Rewards via cards like Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Plus.

Incidentally, my in-laws and I are talking about doing some trips in USA that would almost certainly involve Southwest Airlines. So, it could make sense to hang on to the points rather than “sell” them at a  loss. When you book airfare for 7 people, it doesn’t take long to burn through your stash.

However, I already have 120K Rapid Rewards and these trips may not even happen. Capital One Venture  Rewards card offers a bonus of $400 redeemable for travel expenses or gift cards. I know for a fact I’ll be able to use it in a near future. There is a catch, of course. Capital One pulls all three credit agencies. So here is my dilemma. Let’s say my husband does get approved for Venture Rewards. I still want him to get Southwest card at some point in the future. And Chase is becoming very strict with approvals.

Chase, please, let me have my worm!

To be clear, I don’t think they will implement the same rule for their co-branded cards as they did for Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Freedom (see my post for more on this topic). How come? Because they would have to explain to airline and hotel partners why so many credit-worthy individuals are getting denied for their co-branded cards.

I’m sure Chase has a quota when it comes to approvals, and if it doesn’t meet it, those partners may switch to a  different bank. That said, I do believe they will continue tightening their requirements.

Will  my husband’s three extra inquiries kill his chances with Southwest card down the road? I honestly have no idea. But I do know that I can use travel credit or gift cards within a year. The same can not be said for Rapid Rewards points. It’s more like two years. So, I think it makes sense to just go with Capital One at this time.

Readers, what do you think? Are you struggling with your own dilemma?  Let me know, and maybe I can make a suggestion.

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18 thoughts on “I’m Feeling Churny! Are You?

  1. Perfect timing! I just did my latest churning yesterday. I have a trip to Europe this summer (flying business class on Air Tahiti Nui there and business class Air Berlin back both booked with AA miles back in July). So I was looking for cash back or travel reimbursement cards to help lower out of pocket costs. I was approved for the Wells Fargo Propel ( you don’t need to actually have a bank account with them as I only have my mortgage with them and was approved). Approved for Barclay Arrival +, and also threw in another BofA Alaska card in there (approved as well). Figured I give Chase another try during this latest churn This was the third time in a row I was denied by Chase! The past 2 times I tried Chase United and yesterday I tried Chase IHG. Was not approved instantly so I called the recon line and the rep said I have to many inquires recently and I opened up to many accounts in the past year ( opened 7 accounts last year). I have over and 800 FICO score he said it didn’t matter he could not get around the many inquires or the amount of new opened accounts. It looks like Chase is done with me and I never even got the chance to get the Sapphire,Hyatt,IHG,SouthWest….. Chase give me another chance!!!!


    • Rich,
      Isn’t there some sort of question where Chase asks if you have been denied by them for a card recently? 3-6 months I believe? Do you think that could be playing a role?


      • No, I have never seen that question on a credit card app before, last time I applied before the other 2 denials was 6 months ago


  2. I’ve always thought this Capitol One 3-Pull deal isn’t nearly as bad as people are making it out to be. It’s almost like we are equating it with a bank pulling the same credit agency 3 times. Now THAT would be bad. But they are only making a pull once, from each. Since most banks will usually only do their pull from only one of those 3 main scores they are only going to see that 1 pull from your Capitol One app, not 2 or even all 3, thus it appears the same as any other single-pull app. (Even if other banks looked at ALL 3 of the scores they wouldn’t see 3 pulls from CapOne, they would just see the same 1 pull on the 3 different scores.) So, in real credit-world terms, that Capitol One triple-pull isn’t really going to do any more harm to your chances on future card apps than any other single-pull app with another bank would do. (I know what I’m trying to say, but does this make sense to anyone else?) Yes, with Capitol One you will get all 3 of your scores dinged instead of just one, but since we usually can’t be sure which score the next bank we app from will be looking at anyway, don’t we all just assume that ANY one pull will be seen, regardless? After several dozens of cards over the last several years, I’ve yet to spend any (well, maybe a little at the beginning) time analyzing or worrying about which banks pull from which agencies much less base my choice of cards on that. I just play it safe and assume any bank I app from will see any and all of my previous inquiries, and be pleasantly surprised when they don’t. But I would never know since I don’t dig that deep, so I don’t really care. (Again, I’m making sense to myself, but…)
    Either way, carry on and keep up the great work!


      • Funnily, I tried to make this same point some months ago on another blog and I felt you did a better job than I did that first time. It’s all well and good to say it as simply as I did, but I feel like people need to read an explanation like yours to actually get it.

        Liked by 1 person

    • @Chris Thanks for your comment and for your encouraging words. No worries, I know exactly what you are trying to say. It makes perfect sense. What I failed to mention in my post is that Chase has been pulling both Experian and Equifax for ALL of our apps during the last few years. I honestly don’t know why, but this has been the pattern as of late. So, at least in theory, it will decrease our future chances of approval on all Chase cards. But you are right, it’s best not to sweat this stuff too much. I don’t analyze or worry about banks pulls to an excessive degree. I simply apply for points I’ll need in a near future, and Capital One appears to be the best option right now. Now I just hope my husband gets approved. Thanks!


  3. I have felt very churny myself. I think we’ve benefited from sitting on our hands for a year given closing on the homeloan. If we do something this year it will be to Hawaii and only if we can get approval for the Hyatt card so we can do 4 nights in Kauai. Here’s the rules I’ll be using for my churning going forward:

    1. Do not add spouse as authorized user. A big thing tripping a lot of us families up is that we have 2x the new accounts given we faithfully add our spouse. I think I’ll cut down on that given 5/24 by not adding the spouse as an AU when doing an app. To get around not having the card available, I’ll load our cards onto a Coin or some product like it.

    2. Take a break. I plan on taking application breaks to let my amount of new accounts in the last year decrease a bit. I hope this and the above makes me more likely to get instant approvals.

    3. Chase first: I plan on applying for Chase cards first coming out of these breaks. That way chase sees a nice long window of no new applications.

    I will find out this year if this works or not. If not, then chase simply won’t get any of my spend going forward.


    • @Cheapblackdad I hope the term “feeling churny” takes off! As always, your logic makes perfect sense. Yes, Chase should probably be your first victim, then Barclays. The latter has some decent offers as well and doesn’t like churners.
      Speaking off, that Koloa resort in Kauai seems to be staying in Wyndham program for the time being. Not sure when you plan on visiting Hawaii, but it’s something to consider. I’ve mentioned it to you in an email before, but this place is a great fit for family, since you get a separate bedroom. Of course, I would have a backup plan for those nights just in case availability vanishes all of a sudden. Wyndham is a weird beast of a program. I really hope you do go to Hawaii, it’s one of my favorite places.


  4. Signed up hubby for Fairmont Visa Signature — hoping to use those 2 free nights in San Francisco this summer. I’m holding out for JetBlue’s new credit card as I’m hoping the bonus points will give me 1 more free ticket for our family to go to NYC. I wish it was easier to get JetBlue points because it’s one of my favorite airlines.


    • @Stephanie Very smart getting Fairmont card before it disappears. I absolutely love San Francisco and have been looking for an excuse to go there. Don’t have any experience with Jet Blue, but heard good things about it. Definitely an underrated program, similar to Southwest. Hope your plan works out!


  5. Pingback: Denied for Capital One Venture Rewards, Approved for TD Cash Visa! – Miles For Family

  6. Because it had been 4 months since my last sign up, I decided to sign up for the British Airways Chase Visa, as I have a lot of good uses for Avios and am planning a trip to Europe in the next 18-24 months. I was given the “we’ll get back to you within 30 days screen,” which surprised me as I have only signed up for 4 cards in the last year and have immediately been approved for all of them. I have read enough that I decided not to call about it, but simply to wait it out and hope it comes through. My only concern is that, even though only two of my cards are Chase cards, they both have very high credit limits and I might be close to the “maximum” Chase is willing to give. Hopefully if I get a “no” and need to seek reconsideration, I can simply have some of that credit reallocated. This was going to be my last one for another 3-4 months when I am planning on signing up for the SPG AMEX for me and my wife before it goes away.


    • @Doug I hope your app gets approved. Definitely don’t call right now and just wait and see what happens. You haven’t had a lot of apps in the last two years, so I think you have a good shot at reconsideration if it comes down to that. Just make sure you have a good explanation as to why you want the card.


      • I am hopeful, and will be sure to let you know how it works out. While I can think of certain arguments I can make about my need for the card if I end up calling a reconsideration line, in your experience are there any claims/arguments that are particularly likely to be found persuasive?


    • @Doug Definitely let me know. If you do end up calling, just be honest. Tell them you like the rewards and benefits the card offers, like no Forex fees and ability to earn and redeem Avios. Mention that this currency is extremely valuable for flights on American and Aer Lingus redemption to Europe. All of it is 100% true. You DON’T have to say you just want the bonus and plan to cancel it.


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