Let’s discuss recent changes in how major credit card churning banks operate today. I believe some of them are indicative of major banks’ views about current state of the economy their outlook for the near future, but I’ll leave it to you to decide which items apply.

  1. Bank of America has been reducing credit lines on existing consumer and business credit cards in a haphazard fashion, whether or not the cards have activity tied to them. They’ve also been notifying people inconsistently about these reductions, some receiving paper letters, some receiving emails, and some receiving no notification.

    I’d suggest checking your existing card portfolio and if you’ve been affected, a call to customer service asking them to reverse the reduction may work.
  2. American Express seems to have undergone a “credit profile reset” last week. The symptoms that lead to that conclusion:

    – Some that have never had call-in offers for employee cards now have them
    – Some that have been ineligible for referral bonuses are no longer ineligible
    – Some that haven’t had access to AmEx Offers now have access
    – There was a single report of being approved for AmEx cards after being locked out for years

    I have no idea if this is temporary or permanent, so I’d take advantage quickly if one of these scenarios maps to you. Always be probing.
  3. There’s been confusion about how banks combine credit pulls:

    – US Bank inquiries will be combined the next business day after pulls
    – Barclays will only combine business inquires with other business inquiries, and personal inquiries with other personal inquiries
    – Bank of America will often not re-pull credit for up to 30 days, but if it does pull multiple times on the same day, it’ll be combined the next business day
  4. US Bank, the most ghetto of all major churning banks, has a few changes:

    – They’ve reduced the overall value of their mid-tier Altitude Connect card
    – Opening a brokerage account used to be a backdoor into US Bank accounts when you weren’t in their footprint. In the last six months or so, there’s been only mixed success with that method, but apparently opening a CD is a workaround

    US Bank remains a great sleeper bank for churning, don’t sleep on that sleeper!

Have a nice weekend!

A churner enjoying a lie-flat trip hears about US Bank cards.