You’ve researched several credit cards and spent more time than you should deciding which card to apply for next. You fill out the application, hit submit, and wait with bated breath. (It’s kind of a thrill, right?) And suddenly, something that has never happened before happens—you get denied. It’s almost a personal affront. You have good credit, you pay on time, and someone has the audacity to deny you? Don’t worry! It happens to all of us—don’t let it derail you on your points and miles journey. Here’s what you should do if you get a credit card denial.
Sometimes, if you call the credit card company and ask why you weren’t approved, it will be a simple fix. Maybe that bank has extended you the maximum amount of credit relative to your income. If you suggest that they lower the credit amount on one of your cards or transfer credit from one of your older cards to the new card, that may be enough for them to approve you. This has been the reason for many people’s denials that have turned into approvals.
Sometimes, they need more information—verification of your address or name. Maybe you accidentally entered your social security number incorrectly.
If you are applying for a business card, they may want you to send them something with your address on it (this has happened to me a couple of times). I send in my EIN application approval letter, and we’ve been good.
The take-home message is this—don’t roll over and accept a credit card denial. A lot of the time, they need more information, and it is a simple fix. If not, you’ll know what the problem is and can work on fixing it. I have often had a credit denial reversed once I called.
Just because one card issuer denied you doesn’t mean another one will deny you. If your credit score is good, chances are another company will approve you. Pick another credit card and apply for it.
Occasionally, you may need to take a break from credit card applications. This happened to a friend of mine. She applied for 5 in a row and then got denied twice by different issuers. She took a 6-month break from applying for cards and got approved with her next application.
I once took a break for nine months from applying for cards to get under 5/24. During that time, I used my other credit cards for all my purchases and tried to maximize the earnings on my purchases. I also looked into other ways that I could earn points.
We’ve been turned down for having too many cards and too many recent inquiries. In those situations, we either move on from that card/issuer for the time being or take a break from new applications for a bit and try again later.
I was denied the Capital One Venture Card twice before I was approved. My credit score was over 800. I even had a decent amount of money in a Capital One account. I even thought, “How could they?” and was tempted to take my money out. (See, we all take a denial personally!) I was pretty frustrated, but I waited six months (applying for other cards in the meantime) and was approved on my third attempt.
The same thing happened with the Citi Premier Card for my husband. He had a credit score of 800+, and they denied him twice before they approved him. Both these banks are a little quirky, so don’t take a denial from them personally. Just move on.
At some point in your points and miles journey, you will probably get a credit card denial. Don’t be discouraged. Simply follow our steps on what you should do when it happens to you. It is a bump in the road, but not the end of the road.
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