Warning: Don’t apply for too many Chase credit cards

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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.

Lessons Learned:

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.

Bottom Line:

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.

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130 responses to “Warning: Don’t apply for too many Chase credit cards

  1. Pingback: Chase Ink Bold Sign-Up Bonus Reducing to 25,000 Points (from 50,000) for Most Folks? | Million Mile Secrets

  2. My wife was approved fro the Chase Sapphire card after a reconsideration call today. No other Chase cards, they just asked about a 2nd mortgage we have. If she applied for United today would she have a better chance of getting approved? Or should she wait 30 days ?

  3. @Nick – It depends on her profile with Chase. You could try if she has had no other Chase applications recently and has enough credit on her existing Chase cards so that she can transfer them to get the $5K minimum required. Or you could just wait.

  4. I have applied for three personal chase cards in the past few months:
    February: Chase Saphire and Chase Southwest
    April: United Explorer
    All were approved, although two of them required a call to the reconsideration department. At the moment these are the only three Chase cards I have. I own a business with a Tax ID and would like to apply for the Southwest Business Card but am worried about overdoing it with Chase. My wife applied for and was approved for the Ink Bold card using my tax ID number (and her social) in the past couple weeks. I currently don’t have a Chase business card using the tax id number and my social security number and have never been denied for a Chase card. Do you think going to the Southwest card is risky?

  5. I was denied by the Chase Southwest Business Card because of newness of credit. I found out by calling the reconsideration line. Any advice? I just opened up the personal card this week which was my first card with Chase. Perhaps I shouldn’t have applied for them both at the same time.

  6. @Charlie – Depends on your profile with Chase, so I can’t say specifically. You almost certainly will have to call the reconsideration line. But it does get you nearer to the Companion Pass.

    @Julie – Since you applied, it doesn’t hurt to call back and ask them to reconsider again. But your short credit history could be an issue.

  7. loverofpeace

    Thank you this post has been very helpful! In order to add a data point and keep the good karma going here’s my experience using your strategy:

    I called Chase after I applied for the card yesterday. CSR originally comes back saying the application was denied due to too many requests for credit from Chase (I opened a United MP account and a Continental One Pass in late Feb/early March). I also had an unsuccessful app for the Sapphire Preferred in early April when they were still running the 50k bonus.

    I politely asked if there was anything else that I could do because I really wanted the British card and my Continental and United Cards were pretty much one and the same. He offered to move lines of credit around (I had to do this for my Continental card as well to get it approved back in March) and resubmitted the app and I was approved. Equifax on myfico was 733 before the app.

    He came back saying the app was approved and that I should be receiving the card in the mail in the next one to two weeks.

  8. Pingback: Chase priority club status - FlyerTalk Forums

  9. Woohoo! I just did my first reconsideration call for the Chase Ink Bold on my fledgeling business. After reducing credit limit on my SW and BA Chase personal cards, I was approved for 10k limit on Ink Bold. Good enought for me! Thank you, Daraius, for this cogent post on reconsideration calls. It was a pleasure meeting you at the Chicago Seminars.

  10. The company I was working for decided to get out of the business and shut down. I was given an extremely good severance package. Although immediately entitled to draw unemployment, I didn’t draw unemployment for 3 months. I had plenty of money in my Chase account as well as a Chase savings account with over $25K plus 4 different Chase IRA accounts. In the State of Texas, their program provides you with a Chase Unemployment Debit card unless you tell them to do automatic deposits to a different bank account that can be at any bank. Unless you specify a different bank account, your unemployment funds are automatically deposited to this Chase Unemployment Debit card. I have a Chase account, mortgage, and two credit cards. One of those credit cards had a balance of $2,000 and a credit limit of $25,000. I believe that since Chase issued the Unemployment Debit Card, they knew I was unemployed. They suddenly reduced my credit card with a $2,000 balance that had NEVER been late to $3,000. This reduction happened almost immediately after the Chase Unemployment Debit Card was issued. Prior to that, I had never had a credit card limit reduced with them. The letter said they were reviewing their accounts and decided that my debt level was too high so they were adjusting my credit card limit. I wasn’t planning to run out and charge up the $25,000 credit card anyway, but a reduction like this does affect your credit report. Now I have a limit of $3,000 with a balance that exceeds half of the credit limit. This affects your score. I wish there was a place I could tell others that if they have an account and credit cards with Chase to NOT get the Chase Unemployment Debit Card.

  11. I have to say that, yes, the one every 6 months is a myth. I have applied for and received 5 chase cards in the last 4 months. I did have to call the reconsideration line, but they were more than happy to work things out with me.
    I agree with what Daraius says “Depends on your profile with Chase”. I have a long standing relationship with them with personal and business accounts as well as credit cards and mortgage.
    The point being maybe start now building a foundation with chase and enjoy the rewards down the road.
    Thanks Daraius for all your information. I am now at an amazing 533,000 points earned in the last 4 1/2 months. I could not have done it without you!

  12. Got shot down twice on recon line for an AirTran (32 Credits/special invite) 🙁 Too many inq and credit cards open recently is the reason being given. Applied yesterday, they say its already denied. Should wait for the letter and call in with the ref. number and hope for third time charm or just let it go until next churn in April?

  13. @HSinAz – It doesn’t hurt to call again and offer to close an existing account etc. to get approved since you already have the credit inquiry.

  14. Thank you for your blog. Started reading it a little under a year ago and it has benefited us tremendously. Learning as I go. We used your Chase Sapphire link today to get approved for a card for my wife but I wanted to share about the reconsideration call because it might benefit other readers in our situation. My wife stays at home with the kids so she does not have an income of her own. When I called the reconsideration line the rep said that we were denied because of a new Frank-Dodd law that went into effect in October that does not allow them to give a personal credit card if your income does not exceed your obligations. So since my wife is listed on the mortgage, her income alone would have to exceed our annual mortgage payments. He said that was the law and there was no way around it. So I thanked him and called back again to ask a few more questions. The new rep said that she was being denied because her credit limit was maxed with her 2 Southwest cards that she currently had. So she suggested that we try canceling one of those cards. So she tried to cancel her business card to get the Sapphire card. But it gave her the Frank-Dodd law error thing again. But she then offered to try to cancel the personal card which basically would be the equivalent of switching cards. This time it worked! So basically I learned that with this new law, she might not be able to obtain a personal credit card with anyone unless she already has an existing card with that company. (Unless she is the secondary cardholder). Fortunately, we got her personal Southwest card before that law passed. But it would appear that she might have trouble getting a card with anyone other than Chase since she doesn’t yet have a card with another company. Unless she could get a card as a secondary and then swap out that card. Since I wasn’t planning on canceling the card yet we did lose the small amount of points that hadn’t been transferred yet, but that was no problem since it got her approved!!

  15. @Big D – Thanks for reading and for sharing your experience. Depending on which state you live in, your wife can claim half your income on her application. And many banks will let you put in income from a spouse or elsewhere in the “other income” field if you can use it to pay back credit card debt. You also won’t lose any of the Southwest points which are already in your account, just the points which haven’t posted to your statement.

  16. Great advice Darius. I have been following your recommendations for the past year. I have the following Chase Cards Sapphire Preffered, Hyatt, SW Personal and Business. The AF is coming due so I cancelled the two SW cards am planning to cancel or downgrade the SP. I was denied the Ink Bold card due to too many card applications with Chase and other banks over the past year. I followed your app o rama advice but now banks don’t want to give me new cards due to 10 cc over the past year. Annual fees are coming due which I don’t want to pay. Nor is it easy to jump from Ink Bold to Plus to Classic like you outline. Barclays denied me a second card (Arrival) as well so not sure how to churn the USAIR card. Things looked easy on the 4 month app cycle but now that a year has past I can’t get more approvals even with a credit score near 800. Basically too many applications is the same response all banks are giving. Help please. Thanks in advance.

  17. @Pearl – You could convert the Sapphire Preferred to the Freedom and close the cards which you aren’t using. I wouldn’t call Barclays again, but it could be possible to call Chase and ask to be reconsidered again for new cards. Also, you could consider cards from Citi and American Express as well.

  18. @#!&∫! Sneaky Fees!


    Just ran afoul of this one myself.

    Applied for the AMTRAK card to keep the points I have there from expiring before I can use them.

    The nice CSR let me know that they were onto my shenanigans and there was no way they were going to approve another card for me.

    After a bit of song and dance about having had to drop cards to apply for a mortgage (mostly true) and now getting back the ones I really like and use, she slipped me on hold for a bit.

    Coming back she still said (naming two other banks from my credit report!) that I had too many high limit cards.

    I wasn’t prepared for her to draw up those other cards from my very-spread-out app-o-rama-ing… so I mentioned never having been even a day late (she was unimpressed), and how my Chase history, both business and personal, has been long and steady.

    Then, following the advice above, I asked what she might suggest for a guy that has two boys dying to ride the train…

    Not a peep.

    I mentioned my Priority club card held a limit that was higher than I’d ever use… and that finally broke the dam.

    She swapped a few thousand from limit of that card to the AMTRAK card and… it’s in the mail.

    So… not only are they looking at how many Chase cards you’re churning… but how many other cards are on your report and the credit line on each.

    I’m going to jump on some of those other cards and reduce the 10k+ limits down to the 2k or so I might really need on them.

    And, =sigh=, I guess I need to leave Chase behind for a year and let it cool off. Sorry Ink(s), Sapphire, Hyatt and United… you’re just going to have to wait.

  19. Pingback: Chase Southwest | Million Mile Secrets

  20. Just had my first reconsideration fail with chase. Would not budge. Has anyone else had a similar experience with chase recently. They wouldn’t even consider moving around my credit lines.

  21. Two years ago, my husband and I applied for the Southwest card with the 50,000 bonus miles. We cancelled them after about a year. We recently reapplied this summer and were approved and received the bonus again.

  22. My experience is good for people fixing their credit, after 6 years of no credit being in middles 500s, 7 months ago started to fix it, open three bank acc , one is chase, when I hit the 700’s score I did 12 cards app, number 3 or 4 chase was freedom, denied, I know it, called recon and nothing, to short my credit history, plus just two 300 secure cards, two store and three judgments in EX, but I am persistent, 4 days later Sapphire, denied again, got approved for Discover 1.5G and others small amounts, a week later again, lol, yes again, now for Chase Marriot rewards, I really want a good rewards card, I learned so much here and could not wait, loll, I got it for 5G, never expect that amount. Thanks Darius for all the great advices and recommendations.

  23. Even those this is an old article, it still is really helpful to guide you through the delicate patient and polite begging for forgiveness. On my second attempt to contact the reconsideration, I got a surprising approval today. (That makes for a shocking 8 approvals of 8 CC apps this app-o-rama!) I think I’ve over-exhausted my Chase applications and won’t tempt Chase for a while. I should just let the dust settle. Somehow I managed to convince the second-line reconsideration supervisor I needed this new Southwest Biz CC and they could just close my United Biz card since I was needing to fly Southwest more and United didn’t serve my home city. Thanks Darius.

  24. I have no Idea why chase saphire was approved instantly for 12k. then when it came in the mail I also received an invite to the chase slate, which on the day I activated the saphire, applied online for the slate. again, approved instantly for 6.5k with no balance transfer!! I own my home, no morgage, have federal incometax judgement against me, very old, and almost paid off, but still on credit report.many years of no credit history. I did buy a vehicle oct.2013, paid it through Jan. 2015 though. borrowed 6k from a high interest finance company and did pay it down to 900 dollars in under 2 months. then let it report and draw interest till feb2014. I did have a very good oil paying job out ND for one season. 85k/yr. it’s winter and I”m layed off but that didn’t seem to matter. I have no business with this type of credit. But they are apporved online as of Feb. 21, 2014. Believe me people,,, I went through the 90’s with 7 cards, most of them I killed, never settled, did it all, dodged them, went under the radar for years. then I had kids, married, and raised 3 kids. with out any banks. did it the hard way. I learned my lessons, and learned how to live within my means the hard way and had about 16 years to think about it. So as far as chase being hard to get???? not for me. by the way, I only applied for these 2 once. I’m guessing it’s the vehicle purchase and the no history report prior that passed me. plus the huge amount I paid on it in such a short time lowering my debt ratio.

    I wasn’t even going to respond to the slate card, but because I am laid off for atleast 2 mor months, I was going to transfer the remaining balance of vehicle to card to take advantage of the 15 months no APR. any advice for me with all I said??? would be great, for these are my true happenings in my life. and thank you

  25. I applied today for the Southwest Premier card and was instantly approved with a $20K limit. (I also have an existing Chase card with a $20K limit which never has a balance of more than a few $K and is paid off every month.) A few hours later I applied for the Southwest Business Premier card and was informed they’d get back to me in 10 days. I called the recon line and was told I had been denied because of my other application on the same day. The rep then proceeded to read through the script of questions about the business. Her assessment was that 1) the business was too new (7 months) and didn’t have enough revenue ($800 for 2014) and that 2) I already had maxed out my credit line Chase. I said I didn’t need more credit and suggested moving some of the credit line from the other cards to this one, and the rep said they don’t do that. She was friendly enough, which leads me to believe it wasn’t just someone having a bad day and these numbers just don’t fit into Chase’s algorithm…

  26. It ought to be noted that this is to a great extent an American issue. In numerous different nations, (for example, Britain, Australia, New Zealand), you can just send cash from your financial balance to another person’s as an essential capacity of having a record. No charges, no chaos, no center men standing watchman. Essentially a check sans paper. I don’t know why we haven’t made sense of this in the US. (clearly on the grounds that banks have a huge hall and they have no craving to secure individuals and to charge charges for things.

    I also would like to congratulation for this great contribution of chase online app.

  27. I just wanted to relate my experience with the Chase reconsideration line. I applied for the Chase Sapphire preferred and was given the dreaded 30 day letter. I called the reconsideration line and they noted eight and eight-year-old bankruptcy and a couple tax liens on my record the gentleman was very helpful disappeared for about 10 minutes while they considered me. He came back with th I just wanted to relate my experience with the Chase reconsideration line. I applied for the Chase Sapphire preferred and was given the dreaded 30 day letter. I called the reconsideration line and they noted eight and eight-year-old bankruptcy and a couple tax liens on my record the gentleman was very helpful disappeared for about 10 minutes while they considered me. He came back and indicated because I had a banking relationship with them and had not included any Chase debt in the bankruptcy, I would be approved for an initial $5,000 limit!!! By the way, I was originally denied in the system I was told due to the BK!

  28. Jordan Kaplowitz

    I just applied for the Chase Freedom card. This was my 4th card application and 3rd chase application in 1.5 months. I did not get instantly approved, so I called them up. The guy on the phone was super friendly, and approved it within 5 mins.

    Thank you chase!

  29. I applied for the Southwest Plus card with 50K bonus a few weeks ago and was instantly approved. 10 days later, I applied for the Business version using my SSN. I received a denial letter stating too many inquiries with them. When I called the reconsideration line, they asked for business information and, rather than BS it, I gave them real information about our basement rental, saying I’d like to start segregating expenses. They put me on hold for 5 minutes or so and then denied based on short history (3 years), low revenue (20K/year), and something vague about too many Chase requests on my personal account (besides the Southwest card, most recent was Amazon card in 2013). I asked if lowering the 27K limit on my new Southwest card would help and she said it would overall but business card would still be denied based on short credit history/low revenue.

    I went ahead and lowered my limit on the new card to 7K (my % available credit is still pretty high because I have a few other cards and pay off every month). Any advice on what to say when I call the reconsideration line again?

    OR, should I just apply for another personal card (Southwest Premier) and hope I get approved since I lowered the limit on the Plus card? If they ask me why I applied for it, should I still say it’s to segregate my rental expenses or would that be frowned upon since it’s not a business card?

  30. Good news! I called back the reconsideration line and let them know about the limit decrease on my personal card and also made sure it was clear that the rental unit was part of our primary residence so no additional mortgage risk for it. The rep said she is now recommending approval but initially denied apps have to be run by a supervisor first so they’ll have an official answer within 3 days.

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