Capital One Savor approval tips

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When it comes to the best cash back cards, the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card is one of my favorites. Not only does it come with a really generous welcome bonus ($300 after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months) but you’ll also get bonus cash back on certain on purchases you make with this card.

There’s one very specific reason that I love using the Capital One Savor: It’s so fun to check my statements and see how much credit I’m accumulating. I’m kind of hooked, actually. I love to check every morning to see what my current credit is, and it’s really easy to cash in the credit whenever you want. Everyone has a different strategy, but I like to save my rewards credit for the end of the statement cycle, so I can reduce my monthly bill by as much as possible and all at once.

Here’s how the Capital One Savor card rewards break down:

  • 4% cash back on dining and entertainment purchases
  • 4% cash back on popular streaming services
  • 3% cash back at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target)
  • 1% cashback on all other purchases

That cash back is easy to redeem, and it can certainly add up quickly — especially if you like to go to concerts or eat out at restaurants frequently. The card comes with a $95 annual fee. Before I applied, I did a little bit of research to see if I would be approved. I thought I had a good chance since my credit score is 800+, but I wanted to be sure. It can be nerve-wracking to apply for a new card and wait to see if you’ve been approved.

The information for the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

With the Capital One Savor card, you can earn 4% cash back on qualifying entertainment purchases. (Photo by Taya Ovod/Shutterstock)

Capital One Savor approval tips

Based on my research before signing up, there are several indicators to help you know your chances of being approved for the Capital One Savor card.

Know your credit score

This is the biggest factor in your application being approved or denied. Your best chance for approval is if you have a score of 700+, and while some have been approved with a lower score, it is pretty unlikely.

Remember that “soft inquiries” (when you check your credit score yourself) won’t have an impact on your score, so it’s a good idea to know your score before you apply for a card. When a financial institution runs a credit check, your score will decrease slightly. If you know that your score is just below a 700, it makes sense to wait until it’s a few points higher before applying.

Although credit score certainly is a weighty factor, the banks do have the final say regarding your approval, and there are other factors that they will consider. You should also…

Count the number of personal cards you have open

The rule of thumb with Capital One is that they only allow you to have a maximum of two personal credit cards with them at once. Small business cards do not count against this total. If you’ve already got two Capital One cards, you’ll need to cancel one before applying for this card.

Know your existing card balances

Do you have a high, unpaid balance on one or more credit cards? Are you making just the minimum payment every month? This can be a red flag to the bank, so make sure that your balances are low and manageable. If you are unable to pay off the balance on your cards every month, think twice before attempting to open another one. The interest you’ll end up paying when carrying a balance on your card will negate any rewards you earn.

Consider your income level

There’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to the income level one needs to be approved for the Capital One Savor card. But it plays into the equation because the bank wants to know whether you’re worth the risk when it comes to extending credit to you. Regardless of your income, you’ll need to have excellent credit and pass all other requirements. It also helps to have steady employment of six months or more.

Know the number of inquiries on your credit report

It can be off-putting to banks if you have a lot of inquiries on your credit report within three or six months. Lenders and credit card companies often wonder why you’re looking to open so many loans or new credit cards.

Consider your credit history

You might be surprised to learn that negative marks on your credit history can stay on your record for up to seven years. That’s a good incentive to pay bills on time.

Consider your timing

Capital One will only process a personal credit card application once every six months. So if you have already attempted to open a Capital One card within the last six months, wait.

What to do if you’re not initially approved

Although you’ll typically know right away if you’ve been approved for a credit card, learning that your application has been denied usually takes about seven business days. If you’re not initially approved, don’t worry! It’s not the end of the world, and there are things you can do to help your chances of approval next time. (But remember to keep an eye on the calendar so you can be sure that you’re waiting at least six months from your last application to apply again.)

Review the adverse action notice

When you’re denied, the credit card company will send you a notice that explains why your request was not approved. Understanding the reason you weren’t approved will help you avoid the same issue in the future.

The adverse action letter will list the credit bureau(s) that they used to determine your score. They will also include contact information for the credit bureaus so you can reach out to them directly to learn exactly what factors hurt your score. Did pay your bills late a few months in a row? Did you open too many credit cards in the last three months? Having this information is valuable. This gives you a head start on researching what you need to do to improve your chances of being approved the next time you apply.

There should be at least two valid reasons that your credit card was turned down. If any of the reasons given seem unreasonable, you can call the credit card company to learn more about the decisions. Sometimes, speaking with someone can actually reverse the bank’s denial.

Prepare to dispute a credit card application denial

Before making the call to dispute your rejected application, get organized. If you believe that your application should have been accepted, consider if perhaps there a mistake when you filed your application. Take a look at the notes that came back with your adverse action letter. For example, is there a loan listed that you don’t recognize?

Even in what can seem like a very automated process, mistakes do happen. If you see something that looks strange, it’s worth following up to find out if the reason your application was denied was actually a mistake.

Were you recently approved for the Capital One Savor card? Did you do any research ahead of time to learn more about the qualifications for approval? Let me know your tips in the comments section below.

And if you’re considering the card, be sure to read our review of the Capital One Savor here. Read our post on cash back credit card common mistakes — and our post on why cash back cards are worth it.

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Erin Lizzo is a contributor for Million Mile Secrets where she covers points, miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels and general travel. Her work has also appeared in the Matador Network.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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