Being the Most Churnable Card in Canada, I assume most of you have picked up the MBNA Alaska Airlines Mastercard by now. This pro tip is imperative to know in order to guarantee an approval on your next MBNA application. It’s so good, I’ve also created a flow chart at the bottom to map out the steps.
If you have not yet applied for the MBNA Alaska card, here’s a quick rundown on why you need to pick up this card.
- 25,000 Alaska Airlines Miles – a super valuable points currency
- 1 annual companion pass – a very flexible voucher that warrants a future post
- $39 first year annual fee – $99 annual fee minus $60 GCR rebate
- Easy to qualify for – $15,000 minimum annual income requirement
- Easy to churn – no cap on the number of times you can receive the sign up bonus, but you cannot hold more than one Alaska card at once
- Eligible for product switching and guarantees an approval for the card again – stick around through the post and learn how!
A product switch is when you convert your current credit card into another credit card product within the same bank; usually, the card you choose to switch to must be in the same product group as the card you switch from.
Eg. You can product switch the AMEX Gold Personal to the AMEX Platinum Personal, but not the AMEX SPG because the AMEX SPG is in a different product group.
The bank will not pull your credit score on a product switch but you generally will not receive the sign up bonus for the new card you switch to.
Step 1: Product Switch the MBNA Alaska credit card
Yep that’s right. The MBNA Alaska card now has the option for a product switch!
My data point is from September 2017, I called to cancel my MBNA Alaska card and was offered a product switch to the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard with no annual fee.
This was the first time I had heard of a product switch option from the MBNA Alaska card and I immediately accepted the offer. The MBNA Alaska card is the only card in its product group and is now available to transfer to a different group of cards (MBNA Rewards). I assume this option became available after MBNA integrated with TD’s credit application system sometime last year. And TD allows credit card switching between different product groups.
Product switching was a way better option than cancelling because it allowed me to offload the MBNA Alaska card (so I could be approved for it again) as well as hold onto the credit limit with MBNA. This credit limit will come in handy when I apply for another MBNA card in the future… more on that later.
Step 2: Apply for another MBNA Alaska credit card
Although there isn’t a clear rule on how long you must wait before reapplying for the same card, I would wait a minimum of 90 days after cancelling or product switching.
Earlier this month I applied for the Alaska card again. I received a application pending notice so I called in and requested to be transferred to a Credit Analyst for an immediate decision. After identity verification and a five minute hold, the analyst returned and I was ready for one of the two decisions…
Decision: Card Approved
Great! We can loop back to Step 1 after a few months.
Decision: Card Declined
So for this application, I was declined due to too many credit card inquiries. The reason did somewhat catch me off-guard because I have cooled off on my credit card applications in the past 12 months (relatively…). But here’s when having existing credit with MBNA is key.
Step 3: Move Credit limit (if application declined)
MBNA is amazingly flexible in allowing you to move the credit limits from existing MBNA cards towards a declined application in order to push it through approval. That means you can take a portion of the existing credit limit and up to the entire amount (which would close the existing card) in order to give the new application enough credit to be approved as a credit card.
Knowing the above information, this was how I replied when I received the decline notice.
“Thank you for reviewing my application. Actually I am not seeking new credit. I have existing credit on my MBNA Rewards card and would like to move some credit over in order to open this new card.”
The credit analyst swiftly replied that that was possible and asked how much I would like to move from my existing $5000 credit limit on my MBNA Rewards card. I requested to move $2000 and VOILA! I was approved for another Alaska card and another wholesome sign up bonus.
Flowchart – MBNA Alaska Airlines Product Switch or Cancel
As you can see in the flowchart, by product switching to the MBNA Rewards card you will hold the credit limit to guarantee an approval for another MBNA Alaska card.
Before cancelling a credit card, you should always consider a product switch if the bank allows it. This strategy is vital to perfecting your approval rate for the MBNA Alaska Airlines Mastercard.
Product switch your MBNA Alaska card to the MBNA Rewards card, and hold a credit limit with MBNA to back up a future application. You will be glad you did if your next MBNA application is declined (like mine was) and you need the credit limit to transfer and approve the new card.