What to Do if You Get a Credit Card Denial

Pam

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.

 

Call the Reconsideration Line

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.

 

Woman on phone

Always call the reconsideration line if you get a credit card denial to see if they will change their mind.

 

Know the 5/24 Rule

If you applied for a Chase card and got denied, it might be because you are at or over their 5/24 rule. By using Travel Freely to track your cards, you will always know where you stand for this rule.

 

Apply For Another Card

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.

 

Take a Break

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.

 

Apply For the Denied Card Again Later On

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.

 

Bottom Line

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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  1. Celina says:

    I recall you suggested a time frame for applying for cards in one of the podcasts…something like wait 3 weeks or a month before applying for a new card? I currently have 2 Chase Business cash cards and I really want to apply for a 3rd while they are still offering the 90,000 bonus. The last card I applied and was accepted for was on 10/27…do you think its safe to apply for a 3rd now or should I wait a little longer?

    • Pam says:

      I wish I had that magic ball to know. (It would help me out too!) 😜 Chase seems to be stricter with velocity though so I’d wait a little longer.

  2. Amber CW says:

    I tried Chase’s reconsideration line but I can’t find an option to talk to a real person and it just says my application is pending despite me receiving a letter saying I was denied. Is there a different way I can get into contact with them?

    • Pam says:

      Are you calling these numbers? Chase: 1-888-270-2127 (personal cards), 1-800-453-9719 (business cards). I always get a real person.

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