Just wanted to write a quick tip for people. If you are planning on applying for an airline or hotel credit card, I always suggest creating a loyalty account with the related airline/hotel before you apply. Frequent flyer/loyalty accounts are typically free to create. There’s no reason not to sign up for frequent flier accounts. I pretty much have accounts with every major airline and hotel. I keep all my various loyalty numbers in a nice, organized excel sheet. I digress.
You should sign up for the respective frequent flyer/loyalty program before you apply for the related credit card (i.e. sign up for the United MileagePlus pogram before you apply for the Chase United MileagePlus Explorer credit card). In the credit card application process, there will be a spot for you to fill in your loyalty account number. If you don’t fill this section in, the credit card company will create a loyalty account for you. While this doesn’t sound all that bad, I have heard of quite a few stories of this getting messed up. This is especially true if you’re applying for two credit cards that are part of the same program. You don’t want them generating two different, separate frequent flyer accounts. Plus you’ll probably have to call the credit card company or the loyalty program to figure out your login credentials. It is not worth the hassle. Just remember to sign up before you apply.