I was writing my What I Spent (And Received) in Annual Fees annual post. As part of my audit, I wanted to double-check exactly what benefit I got from each card. When I checked my Alaska Airlines statement, I did not see the 30k sign-up bonus for applying for the personal card. I opened the statements to see if I had reached the 1k spending limit. That’s when I noticed that I had a lot of returns. Did I mess up in my calculations and not hit the mins? Am I getting sloppy in my old age? After checking and rechecking that I did meet the requirement, I decided to call BoA. The agent confirmed that I hit the minimum and that I was eligible for the bonus. I jumped in and exclaimed, “But I only received 5k points!” To which she said, “You were not approved for the Visa Signature, you were approved for the Platinum Plus which only comes with a 5k bonus.” To which I retorted, “I applied for the Signature.” To which she replied, “When you apply for the Alaska Airlines card, the card you receive is based on your creditworthiness. Since you were not approved with at least a 5k spending limit, you received the Platinum Plus card which comes with the lower sign-up bonus.” To which I concluded, “Credit worthy? Months later, I was approved for the Virgin Atlantic with a healthy credit line.”
Defeated, I hung up the phone and sat alone in a corner, utterly disappointed. I couldn’t believe that at some point BoA did not think I was credit worthy. Worse, I couldn’t understand how I overlooked not receiving the 30k points. What an unforgivable versight! Finally, I was devastated because I had wasted an inquiry and received next to nothing in return. This dumb card counts against my 5/24 quota (which I am nowhere near being under) and, if it is true that BoA also now has a similar policy, will hurt my chances of being approved for a future Alaska card.
When I applied, I only had one BoA card open with an 8k line of credit, so it’s not like I was overextended credit by BoA. That was sometimes an issue when I would apply for multiple Alaska cards in one day, a strategy that was killed by MMS. The worst part of the experience is that applicants have no way of knowing ahead of time for which card they’ll be approved. Obviously, had I known it was going to be the useless Plus card, I would not have applied in the first place.
I cancelled the stupid Plus card as the annual fee was due this month and will wait a few more months before applying again. Hopefully next time I will be worthy of receiving the real sign up bonus.
Anyone else not economically viable?