If you apply for credit cards regularly, at some point your application will get denied. This is most likely because of too many recent credit inquires on your credit report.
But Million Mile Secrets readers know that calling the bank’s reconsideration department and making your case will usually help get you approved! For more information on how to convince the banks to approve you for a credit card and which telephone numbers to call, check out my earlier post on how to make your credit card reconciliation telephone call a success, which has 278 comments so far.
It almost always makes sense to call the credit card reconsideration department. That’s because you’ve already got the credit inquiry recorded on your credit profile, so you might as well try to get approved for the credit card and get the sign-on bonus.
When to Call?
But readers often ask when is the best time to call the reconsideration line? Is it as soon as you apply? Or is it when you receive the denial letter via email or by US mail? Perhaps it is best to call a few days after applying?
In my experience, I get the best results by calling as soon as I finished applying for the credit card online. And by hanging up and calling back if the representative doesn’t approve me or if I sense that the representative was unsure or just “making stuff up” to get me off the phone.
However, I wouldn’t call the Barclays bank reconsideration line more than once or twice, because they track the number of times you call and have been known to sometimes close ALL your existing Barclays bank credit cards if you have too many inquiries on your credit report.
In my experience, Chase and Bank of America have the best telephone reconsideration department, but I generally have better luck writing to the Citi Executive office. Capital One and US Bank don’t appear to have much of a reconsideration department.
I usually call the reconsideration line as soon as I finish applying for the credit card or batch of cards online for a few reasons.
1. Impatience. I’m human, and impatience is one of my flaws. I want to know the results of a “churn” as soon as possible and deal with getting approved immediately. Once I know I’m approved, I can mentally move on to the next phases of completing the minimum spending and dreaming of using my miles and points!
2. Application is Not Locked. With Chase, I’ve noticed that the telephone representatives can manually process a credit card application if you call immediately, or a few days after applying. There seems to be a period of time in-between where your application is “locked” for an automated review.
But calling the reconsideration line immediately after applying ensures that I can chat up the telephone representative, mention my banking and business relationship with Chase and negotiate approval for another card.
3. Correct Glitches. Sometimes, your application may appear like it has been submitted online, but there is no record of it in the bank’s systems. This tends to happen with Citi applications.
For example, Emily applied for 2 Citi Hilton Reserve cards last week at the same time using the 2-browser trick. She was immediately approved for 1, but got an “application pending” notice for the 2nd card.
We called the reconsideration line, but the representatives could not find her 2nd application! We said that we applied for 2 personal Citi Hilton Reserve cards to separate our business and personal expenses because there isn’t a dedicated Citi Hilton Reserve Business credit card.
We called back a few times, but the reps couldn’t find her 2nd application. So we submitted another application for the Citi Hilton Reserve, within 2 hours of Emily’s earlier application, which was instantly approved.
4. Consolidate Credit Pulls. I haven’t been able to figure out a pattern, but *sometimes* a bank will pull my credit score during the reconsideration process. But if it is on the same day, the scores *might* get clubbed together and appear as only 1 inquiry on my credit report.
5. Duplicate Applications. American Express sometimes puts a second application for the same type of application on hold. For example, suppose you apply for both a personal and business American Express Starwood card.
You may need to call the American Express reconsideration department to let them know that you intentionally applied for both versions and to release the second application for processing.
I usually prefer calling the reconsideration department as soon as I finish applying for credit cards online. But I don’t have enough data to suggest that this is the optimal method for everyone. As always, do what you’re comfortable with and what works for you!
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