Which Offer Will I Get? The One I Applied for or the One Available When I Was Approved?
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Reader John commented on his recent credit card application:
If the bank approved me AFTER a limited-time increased sign-up bonus ends, do I get what was offered when I applied or when I was actually approved?
Good question, John!
Sometimes your application will go into pending status, and it can take the bank weeks to approve you. I like to apply and get approved within the offer window to completely remove any doubt.
But don’t worry. You will earn the bonus offer that was valid at the time you applied.
Here are a few tips to help you avoid “pending status” applications. And what to do if it happens!
When to Call The Reconsideration Line
If your application is denied or pending you can accept your fate and move on, or you can do something about it!
Banks want your business. You don’t have to wait for them to decide. You can call, and tell them why you would be a great customer.
Be calm, and positive. Be prepared to communicate why you want the card, and know the banks rules ahead of time. I have had several successful reconsideration calls where I only had to answer the same questions from the application again!
Take a Screenshot of the Offer
Taking a screen shot of your application offer is good insurance in case the bank says you applied for a lower offer.
If you aren’t familiar with how to take a screenshot check out my post on taking screenshots with both Macs and PCs.
Avoid Pending Applications!
There is no surefire way to completely avoid a pending application, but there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of being approved.
- Maintain excellent credit
- Be honest and accurate with your application (especially your income)
- Know your credit report and make sure it’s accurate
No one can completely avoid pending applications. But you can improve your chances of approval with these tips.
Million Mile Secrets team member Harlan applied for the AMEX Hilton Surpass 100,000 Hilton point offer (no longer available) right before the bonus was reduced. And his application went to pending for ~2 weeks!
Meanwhile, the bonus dropped by 25,000 Hilton points. But when he got the card and met the minimum spending, he still got the higher 100,000 point bonus.
If your application is pending you will earn the sign-up bonus offer that was valid on the day you applied. Even if you are approved after it has expired.
Just remember to always be accurate with your application. And know what’s on your credit report before applying.
Thanks for the question, John!
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! :)