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New credit card with credit freeze?

I am kind of tempted by the offer of 100K bonus points if I get a Marriot credit card (through Chase). But we froze our credit with all three credit bureaus after the Equifax hack. I might be willing to temporarily lift the freeze with one bureau, but would that be enough? I cannot find a number to call to ask about this or find out which of the three they would use.

Posted by
4690 posts

Freezing my credit isn't free in Oregon (unless you are a senior), and that's why I don't do it. (A fee to unfreeze, then a fee to freeze again, for each bureau.) I have used a 90 day "fraud alert" which isn't quite as good but is free and has some of the same protections. I applied for a couple of credit cards while that was in place and indeed it was a little harder to get approved - I had to verify my identify first, which I kind of liked.

I'm sure you can dig up a number to call a Chase 1-800 number an ask them.

Posted by
129 posts

Look at the Chase Hyatt credit card...much better deal than the Marriott or others as you can
stay at nice Hyatt Place properties for an average 8000 points vs 25000 and up for others.

Posted by
4690 posts

I've had both the Marriott card and the Hyatt card (or some version of each).

The Marriott cards I've had have always waived annual fee the first year - not this 100K card. So it was worth signing up to get the bonus then canceling. The biggest plus: I could transfer the points 1:1 (I think you still can) to various airlines like Alaska or Southwest. A couple of times, I got 30,000 points free and just transferred them to Alaska - and 30,000 is a free one-way ticket to Europe, not bad!

I've had the Hyatt card too. If they still offer it, you used to be able to get two free nights as a sign-up bonus at ANY Hyatt property worldwide! I used that twice - once in Paris, once in Amsterdam, at some super nice hotels where I felt way under-dressed checking in - but free was an amazing price!

But neither of these cards is really worth keeping, in my opinion, after you get the initial sign-up bonus.

Posted by
5019 posts

Lola,

There's no absolute predictor of which bureau banks pull. There's lots of anecdotal data points, and based on that one can make a pretty good guess, but they can and do sometimes do a pull from another (or occasionally all three) bureaus. So there's no absolute guarantee.

Of course, you can unfreeze all three temporarily, after Chase does the pull, you could re-freeze them again.

IIRC WA recently made it free to freeze/unfreeze them - no? Worth checking into that.

You'll find much more comprehensive info on this stuff over at FT. Good luck.

Posted by
11154 posts

I agree that if you're interested in this card, call Chase and ask them. I'm sure they'll be able to tell you exactly what you need to do, since it's in their interest to help you get the card, and you won't be the first person with a credit freeze they've dealt with.

Posted by
5019 posts

I agree that if you're interested in this card, call Chase and ask them

With all due respect, actually, I'd disagree with that. The level of detail the OP is seeking (which credit bureau they will pull) is not something that front line CS agents will (or can) share with customers. It's "inside baseball" to them and I'd be very surprised if you could get that out of them (I suppose it can't hurt trying, but don't expect much).

Lola, I assume you know about the impending devaluation of Mariott/Starwood program (IIRC, 100,000 new points would be worth 666,666 old points). That's an oversimplification, and it's a complex mix, so for some folks its good, for others it's bad, depending on how you want to use them. I was briefly tempted by this one but decided to skip it. YMMV. If you're not on top of all the details of the new program scheme, it's worth a little research before jumping on this one.

Posted by
11681 posts

David, thanks for the device to look into the Marriot program further. I have been a Starwood member for years and use their card and points to great advantage ( mainly converting to British airways or Alaska miles). Now that they are merged, I am a Marriot “gold”member. We do not generally stay at hotels like Marriot (or Hyatt) when traveling, but I am very attracted to St. Ermin’s Hotel in London for our next visit, and it turns out they are a Marriot property. I learned about the bonus points offer from a pop up while I was looking at the hotel. Then coincidentally got the offer by email from Marriot.

I thought maybe some Marriot points would bring the price down to the “reasonable” range for a 3- night stay (600 GBP or less). But if the points are not all that valuable, it may not be worth the trouble.

Freezing our credit was free, but I do not recall if that was because we are seniors, or because we live in Washington, or both. Or because we did have a fraud attempt: someone tried to open an account at Barclay’s Bank using my husband’s personal details. It was discovered because (a) we have a credit monitoring service and (b) we got an actual letter from Barclay’s asking for verification. Since this came to our address, the fraudster never knew about it and could not respond. I was glad to see the bank doing that. Maybe it is routine practice for banks now, with so much identity fraud going on..

Posted by
5019 posts

I don't know for sure, but I believe WA state just recently (like days or a few weeks ago) initiated some consumer-friendly protections allowing free credit freezes. Worth looking into.

I didn't mean to completely trash the Marriot/Starwood programs. Just be aware of the very major changes coming 8/1/2018. If you're used to using your SPG card and collecting 1 point per dollar spent, the most disappointing thing is that they are fiddling with both the earning and the redeeming sides, so after 8/1, for every dollar spent on your SPG card, you will essentially earn 2/3 of a point (a 33% devaluation from today). It's tricky to compare (intentionally so, I believe) because "new points" and "old points" are/were earned at different rates, so it takes a little more effort to wrap your head around what everything is/will be worth. For some people that's a deal killer. For others, it's no biggie - and in some respects the "new" program coming 8/1 may be better - it all depends on how you earn/redeem points. I always transfer them to the airline programs, like you. I have not decided yet if I will renew my SPG card. I am putting as much spend on it as I can until the 8/1 changes take effect.

Posted by
11681 posts

Thanks for your additional comments. I intentionally depleted my Starpoints by converting them to British Airways Avios and just booked our next year’s flights in Business Class with those. I will probably keep my Starwood card as I find American Express very useful; I have been able to use it with no issues to book train tickets on OeBB and other European websites that are finicky about other American credit cards.

I will have to study up to see how useful the 100K Marriot points might be. Is there any way to estimate the equivalence to the value of current Starpoints? Would it be 1/6 or around 16,000? That is way less than I anticipated and not worth the trouble of unfreezing/re-freezing my credit.