There are three credit reporting agencies in the United States: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Regardless of which bureau a credit card company uses to pull your report, new accounts will be reported to all three. However, some credit cards like ones from American Express may not post to your credit report immediately. In these situations it looks like you have fewer open accounts than you actually do. Here’s how to take advantage of a delay in reporting of new credit card accounts to credit bureaus.
Credit Report Tools
When you start churning, I recommend opening both a Credit Karma and an Experian account. This will give you access to your credit reports from all three bureaus so you can see new hard inquiries and accounts as they are reported. Hard inquiries appear instantly but there is some variation in how long it takes for a credit card company to report a new account.
Using Delayed Reporting to Your Advantage
The time from receiving an approval for a new credit card to seeing that card appear on your credit report will vary by credit card issuer. In general, new accounts are reported fairly quickly, often within a few days. You will be able to see when a new account is added by checking Credit Karma or Experian. American Express is notorious for taking 2-3 months to report new accounts. While results may vary, this can provide an opportunity to apply for another credit card with card issuers that are sensitive to a lot of recent accounts. This won’t always help you bypass the 5/24 rule at Chase but some people have had success here (see below). As always, I recommend applying for 5 Chase cards first. However, say you were at 4/24 and jumped on the Amex Platinum 100,000 point bonus leaked link at Thanksgiving. You may still try applying for a 5th Chase card before the new American Express account hits your credit report. Again, your mileage may vary.
Applying for Two Chase Cards When You’re 4/24
If you’ve opened four credit cards in the past 24 months, you’re probably decided what Chase card to get for your last 5/24 slot. This very hit or miss but you can try applying for an additional Chase card on the same day when you’re at 4/24. Here’s how to do it. Apply for your first card. If you aren’t automatically approved, call the reconsideration line (1-888-270-2127) and hope for approval. If you succeed in getting approved, instantly apply for another card and call the reconsideration line if necessary.
This isn’t a hard and fast strategy for being able to open new accounts with stricter card issuers. However, if you recently applied for a new card and have your eye on another, applying before that first card hits your credit report may improve your odds of a second approval.