As I mentioned in a recent post, this past weekend, I was feeling the
pressure doom excitement of the impending announcement of the newest airline merger between US Airways and American Airlines.
What does a points and miles girl do at a time like that – she applies for more credit cards of course! I thought this would be an opportune time to bolster my cache of US Airways and American Airlines miles, hoping that the miles would be more valuable when combined than separate (the-whole-is-greater-than-the-sum-of-the-parts theory).
Interestingly, the buzz of the bloggers concentrated on the merger announcement itself, and not on credit card apps. As I wrote on Sunday:
I’m far from an expert, so I asked some bloggers with more experience than me, what they recommended. All of the experts felt that the offers will not go away tomorrow, but will remain for some undetermined time even after the proposed merger is announced.
Repeatedly, I was told to sit back. No rush. No changes would be made for a while. I trust and rely on certain bloggers. They have a level of wisdom and experience that I do not have, and I value their analysis. In this instance, while I took their words into account, on analysis, I decided it was proper to move now rather than wait-and-see. So, I jumped the gun and submitted two credit card applications this weekend, one for an AAdvantage Business American Express (issued by Citibank) and the other for a US Airways Mastercard (issued by Barclays). Both were approved.
The US Airways card offer was a particularly good deal – no pesky spend requirement, a good mileage bonus and first year fee waived. Well, guess what? Not more than a few hours after the announcement of the merger, the best US Airways card offer was removed, and none of the present offers are not as advantageous.
This took the community by surprise. Suddenly, the lead story in the blogging world was, not merely the change of the terms of the card, but also a push to apply for the card NOW. So, now there’s an urgency to apply for the US Airways card, when only a few days prior, everyone said take your time? (Say it isn’t so: could it be that the sudden push of the US Airways Mastercard is because now the affiliates link offer is better than the non-affiliates link offer?? Or, perhaps, the bloggers want to help their readership to get the best deal – fearful that the Barclays may also remove the affiliate version the bloggers are currently offering and replace it with something even worse?)
All I can say is that I’m glad I trusted my gut and applied when I did (and I’m happy for my friends and readers who, on my experience, applied for and were approved for the prior rendition of the US Airways card).
The lesson is that there is no crystal ball. Sometimes – no – always – you need to take into account not just the buzz on the street, and the words of the bloggers, but also your own reasoned judgment.