We all know to avoid Capital One credit cards like the plague because they pull all 3 credit bureaus for one credit card application. I recently saw one report which could change the attitude a bit.
Reddit user marvypoo had an (inadvertent) interesting story when applying for a Capital One credit card. He applied for the Capital One Venture – you know the one with the 40,000 point signup bonus that we’ve all been eyeing and sighing that we can’t apply for – and he accidentally hit the ‘refresh’ button on the computer while the computer was in middle of processing his application, “It will take a minute for your application to process”.
He got an automatic approval and received the card in the mail. Or rather, received the cards in the mail. Yup, Capital One took it as two separate applications and automatically approved him for two of the same card. That’s an 80,000 point signup bonus between the two.
He met the spend on both cards, and… he received both bonuses. All automated.
The kicker to the story is that he only received one-time credit pulls for the applications. They did pull all 3 bureaus, as usual, but the pulls were combined and show up as one.
Here’s some things I learned from this story:
- Capital One will combine inquiries. We previously put together a resource on which issuers combine and which don’t. We didn’t have any reports at the time on Capital One. This story indicates that they do combine. It’s still possible that the inquiry-consolidation was due to the fact that it was the same card, but different cards wouldn’t get their inquiries combined. But it’s at least an encouraging indication that it’s likely the inquiries will get combined.
- Apparently, it’s even possible to get two of the same card at the same time with Capital One. We’ve heard about such tricks with Citi and recently with Bank of America. Apparently, with Capital One it could work as well. Of course, this will all only work if the approval is instant; once a human reviews it they wouldn’t approve for two cards.
- When people talk about getting inquiries combined and about getting two of the same card from Citi or Bank of America, we usually talk about using two different browsers and sending out the applications as close together as possible. In this story, both were sent from the same browser. I’m not coming to say there’s no validity to the 2-browser idea, but at least in this case it wasn’t necessary.
- We also put together a List of Churnable Credit Cards and we wrote in regard to Capital One that it is possible to get a second identical card, even without cancelling the first one, but that you may need to wait in between. In this story he was able to get two of the same card, and in this story no wait was needed. Again, this data-point is limited to being able to get two at the same time, so it won’t actually prove that you’d be able to apply for a second card a day later or a month later.
All this info is just from one person’s experience and it’s always possible that we won’t be able to replicate it, but it’s definitely an interesting story.
I haven’t applied for any Capital One credit cards yet, but it got me looking at the possibilities. If I thought I could get two Venture cards with a 40,000 point bonus on each, I’d be applying right now. I’d probably go through two separate browsers – hey, why not? – but I’d be willing to give the 3-bureau pull for this. There’s a risk that the inquiries won’t combining, but how’s a credit card app for some adventure! Honestly, I don’t care much about the Transunion pull, so it’s more the Experian and Equifax that I’m thinking about.
I’d also consider going for two separate Capital One cards and hoping that the inquiries combine. The advantage of this approach is that even if the application needs human intervention, it may still be possible to get an approval on both cards. We need to find two good Capital One signup bonuses; other than the 40,000 point Venture there isn’t any personal card that look incredibly enticing. There are a couple nice-looking business cards and it’s possible that those will also combine inquiries with the personal.
See also Devil’s Advocate’s post Should a Capital One Card Be In Your Wallet? for lots of interesting info on Capital One and the Venture card in particular.
It’s also worth noting that I have seen some mention that you may be able to freeze one of your credit reports and still getting approved with Capital One. If I could freeze my Experian and still get approved… now, that sounds tempting.
Anyway, this is what’s going through my heard. Any advice for me? Please comment below.