I had my toughest call with the Chase credit card reconsideration department a few weeks ago, and I’ve decided to be very selective with my Chase credit card applications.
Hey, there must be a pretty good reason if Gary from View from the Wing isn’t maxing out the Chase offers!
A few weeks ago, I applied for the Chase Southwest credit card which offered 50,000 points ($833 in flights), because it was the best sign-up bonus, in my opinion, for domestic travel.
Since I have 3 other Chase cards (the Chase British Airways, Priority Club, and United business card), I expected to get a denial letter in the mail.
I wasn’t worried, because as I explained in an earlier post on Why The Chase “6-Month Rule” Is a Myth:
Most banks set a limit on the TOTAL credit amount which they will extend to you. This limit is based on the bank’s internal risk-taking (or underwriting) policy, your income, length of credit history, and other variables on your credit report.
You may reach this total limit with 2, 3, or 4 or more credit cards, depending on the credit limit assigned to each credit card.
Sure enough, I got a denial and the reason was “Too many requests for credit or opened accounts with us”
No problem, I’ve counseled many folks on how to call credit card reconsideration analysts and get approved for credit cards so I wasn’t worried.
I logged into my Chase account online so that I could see my current accounts, and had a copy of my credit report with me. I then called the “secret” reconsideration line and was immediately speaking with a credit reconsideration analyst.
Chase Reconsideration Call
Me: Hello! I recently applied for the Chase Southwest credit card and was wondering if there was any way to get that approved? I’m a long time Chase customer and I know that I have very large credit lines with Chase.
(I let the rep know immediately that I am an existing Chase customer with large credit lines, so that the rep can classify me as an existing creditworthy customer)
Analyst: Sure. Let me take a look. What’s your reference number? Ok, let me put you on hold.
Me (thinking): This is going to be a cakewalk!
Analyst: It looks like there is a lot of activity on your credit history. You’ve opened 7 accounts in the last 2 years with Chase. Is there a reason why you need so much credit?
Me: *I knew immediately that this wasn’t going to be an easy call!*
I don’t need the credit, in fact you’ll notice that I always pay off my balances and have never missed a payment. My…
Analyst (interrupts): It is concerning that you have so much credit bureau activity and you’ve closed quite a few accounts as well.
Me: I can see why that is concerning. I moved from Chicago and I didn’t need my Continental Airlines personal and business cards anymore because Continental doesn’t have good service from my airport.
In fact, that’s one of the reasons why I want the Chase Southwest credit card since Southwest has great flight availability from my airport. I also applied for the Priority Club credit card recently, because it is one of the preferred hotel groups for my company.
And I cancelled my United Economy Plus credit card because the annual fee was too much and I already had a United credit card.
(I truthfully explained why I was opening and closing credit card accounts, that didn’t reference the huge sign-on bonus. I was trying to show the analyst that I wasn’t applying for credit cards because I was broke or just for the sign-on bonuses.)
Analyst: Let me see what I can do. *Places me on hold*
Me (thinking): Almost there!
Analyst: Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to approve you right now. Your activity is troubling, so try again in 3 months.
Me: *Trying hard to not sound surprised* Sure, fair enough. It is what it is.
(In my experience, being calm and agreeable when someone conveys bad news almost always gets you respect and reconsideration, because most folks give up or argue rudely when confronted with bad news).
But I also wanted to let you know that I’ve been a Chase customer for over 10 years, and I’ve recently been putting a lot of expenses on my British Airways card. And I’ve never missed a payment with Chase or anyone else.
(I wanted the analyst to know that I was a long time loyal customer, and that I was putting a lot of spending on my British Airways credit card to qualify for the Companion Pass which would let me have 2 award redemptions for the price of 1. The credit card market is saturated, and banks like customers who spend a lot on their credit cards).
What would you suggest I do?
(A person is more likely to pursue a course of action if he or she believes it is THEIR idea. I wanted to see if the rep would suggest closing a credit card or transferring credit from an existing card).
Analyst: *Puts me on hold again* Well, we can do a line exchange.
Me: What’s that?
(I know what a line exchange is, but want the analyst to explain it to me so that the analyst feels important and more committed to the solution he suggested).
Analyst: We reduce your credit line on an existing credit card and transfer that line to your new credit card. How much would you like to transfer over?
Me: You can transfer $7,000 from my United credit card since I don’t use that very much.
Analyst: *waits for system to approve the line transfer* Ok, you’re all set now. You’ll receive a letter in the mail in 5 to 7 business days. Thanks for calling Chase.
Me: Thanks! That’s why I’ve been a Chase customer for more than 10 years. Have a good day.
Chase is getting serious about not approving applications if there is a pattern of opening lots of reward credit cards. Chase currently does not give you the bonus on a credit card again if you already received the bonus earlier, unlike Citibank and American Express.
You may be able to get 3 or 4 Chase cards approved in a short period of time, especially if you don’t have a lot of Chase credit cards. But, it gets harder in future years, as Chase can see your history of opening and closing accounts.
As Mommy Points wrote earlier on the same topic, Chase issues a lot of reward cards (Priority Club, Marriott, United, Southwest, Hyatt etc.) so you really don’t want to be on their blacklist.
And they have blacklisted folks from applying for credit cards.
I’m going to be very selective with my Chase credit card applications and limit myself to 2 to 3 applications a year with Chase.
It is VERY important to only apply for a Chase card with a high sign-up bonus, since you will NOT be able to get the sign-up bonus on that same card type again.
For example, I would NOT recommend applying for the current Chase Southwest Airlines credit card which offers only 25,000 points since there were 2 better offers earlier this year. I’d wait for a better offer.
Now, here’s hoping that the Chase Sapphire Preferred will increase the sign-on bonus as it battles it out with the American Express Premier Reward Gold card!
Large credit card bonuses lets us all have Big Travel with Small Money!
What have been your experiences applying for credit cards with Chase? Tell us in the comments.