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I recently applied for the Southwest business card to get the Southwest Companion Pass and got approved after calling the reconsideration line. Earning the Companion Pass in 2013 means that Emily can fly for free, up to the end of 2014, on every Southwest ticket I book using either miles or points!
The 50,000 point Chase Ink Plus, Chase Ink Bold, and the Chase Southwest card are among the best business cards by Chase, so I thought I’d post my experience with the Chase business reconsideration line. The Chase reconsideration line is closed on Sundays.
The credit line for business cards does not show in my personal credit report and impact my credit utilization or credit aging, so it doesn’t impact my personal credit score in the long term. However, the credit inquiry does show in my personal credit report, but the effect drops off after 3 to 6 months (though it does stay on my credit report for 2 years).
Business cards are an easy way to get extra miles and points, and as I’ve written previously, many of us may qualify for businesses even though we don’t realize it. However, business credit cards may not have all the consumer protections which personals cards have.
With Chase business cards, it can take weeks to get approved. I’m impatient so I call the reconsideration line to get approved as soon as I submit my application. I ask the reconsideration analyst to use my social security number to look up my application.
Your Goal: Get approved for the Chase business card which you applied for. You’ve already got an inquiry on your credit report when you applied for the card, so you may as well try to get approved for the card.
Chase’s Goal: Lending to small businesses is riskier than lending to individuals, so Chase wants to ensure that the credit extended is appropriate and likely to be paid back. You do personally guarantee that you’ll pay back debt on your business credit card, but Chase still needs to do its due diligence.
Preparation: Prepare responses to commonly asked questions such as how long you’ve had your business, prior, present & future revenue, expenses, profit and your personal income and employment details. Also review my post on calling the reconsideration department at banks.
I applied for the Southwest business credit and called the Chase reconsideration line.
Chase Analyst: Chase business card services. How may I help you?
Daraius: Hello, I just submitted an application for the Chase Southwest Business card and I was curious if you needed any other information to process the application?
I prefer asking the agent indirectly to check my application status, instead of opening the call with a plea to check my application status.
Chase Analyst: Sure. It will take 3 to 4 minutes to review your information and we can then make a decision on the card. Do you want to continue?
Daraius: Yes, of course!
Chase Analyst: What is your reference number?
Daraius: I don’t have a reference number, but here’s my social security number, XXX-YY-ZZZZ.
The agents almost always ask for a reference number, but you can have them look up your application via your social security number. The reference number is usually in the letter you get from Chase declining your application or asking for more information.
Chase Analyst: Thanks! What does your business do?
Daraius: I write a blog on how to best use airline miles and hotel points to travel.
Chase Analyst: How long has it been established?
Daraius: Close to 2 years now! I registered the name earlier, but didn’t start until April 2011.
Chase Analyst: What was your revenue for 2011?
Daraius: I didn’t earn any revenue in 2011.
Chase Analyst: How did you calculate your income or loss?
Daraius: The usual way – gross receipts (which were zero) less expenses incurred with the business. I’m a small business, not a big bank, so nothing funny here!
Chase Analyst: Ha! That’s fine. What was your revenue in 2012?
Daraius: Year to date revenue is $X.
Chase Analyst: How much experience do you have with your business?
Daraius: I used to travel 3 weeks out of 4 in a month for business and collected lots of points. Blah, blah…
Chase Analyst: You don’t have to disclose separate income (alimony, child support etc.) unless you want to use it to repay credit card debt. Is the total income you entered on the application still $X?
In my experience, the agents always ask this question. I interpret this to mean that it is okay to include income from your partner as long as it can be used to repay the credit card debit. An agent suggested that Emily include partner’s income (on a separate reconsideration call for her), but your miles may vary.
Daraius: It still is.
Chase Analyst: I see that you already have another Chase Southwest business card?
Daraius: Actually I closed that card about a month ago. It was the Plus version, but I want the Premier version which doesn’t have foreign transaction fees and earns me A-List qualifying point unlike the Plus card which I cancelled.
If I had cancelled the Premier version instead and applied for the Plus version, I would have said that I wanted a card with a lower annual fee.
Chase Analyst: Is your address still [reads my address]. Do you want to add another user to the account?
Daraius: That’s still my address and I don’t want to add anyone else at this time. Thanks!
Chase Analyst: How much credit do you want on this card?
Daraius: Not a whole lot – $5,000 should be enough. I’ve also been using my Chase Ink Bold regularly, so I don’t need a lot of new credit
I didn’t want it to appear that I wanted a lot of new credit. I just wanted to be approved!
Chase Analyst: Let me put you on a brief hold and route this for verification.
Daraius: Sure, take your time!
Chase Analyst: [After 7 minutes] Congratulations! Your Southwest card is approved!
Daraius: Thanks! And have a great Thanksgiving weekend!
The call took ~20 minutes, but I was approved for my Southwest Business card after the call!
What To Do If You’re Not Successful?
Call again – either immediately or later on. You’ve already received the credit inquiry so you may as well try to get approved. Often times, a different representative will be more sympathetic or easier to talk with.
Remember, you can always move credit from your existing business cards or even your personal cards with Chase to make room for a new case. In some cases (usually when you have a shorter credit history/history with Chase), you may have to cancel a credit card to get approved for a new one with Chase as described in this post.
The Chase Business reconsideration analysts ask a lot more questions than the personal analysts. And some of them are “all business” (read = not much small talk) since that’s their job, so don’t take it personally!
But it doesn’t hurt to be prepared and to think about your responses to some of the commonly asked questions such as how long you’ve had your business, prior, present & future revenue, expenses, sales and your personal income and employment details.
If you give them a reason to approve you, they will. Good luck!