Denied for a credit card application after applying for some of the best travel credit cards? Don't fret yet. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for a reconsideration phone call, with credit card reconsideration phone numbers for Chase, American Express, Citibank, Bank of America and Barclays listed below.
1. Don't procrastinate: if you wait a month or longer, you'll need to apply again, resulting in another hard credit pull, so make sure to call the credit card reconsideration number less than a month after applying. I recommend calling right after you apply.
2. Know your credit score and history: See our post Understand How Your Credit Score Works to Maximize Credit Card Rewards, where we explain how to get your credit score and reports. Have a copy of your report from at least one, if not all three, of the credit card reporting bureaus (Equifax, Transunion and Experian) and have them handy so you can reference your recent credit activity and inquiries. One of the most common reasons for a denial is "too many recent inquiries" so you definitely want to make sure you know what your reports say and that it matches your actual activity.
3. Know your history with the bank: Make sure you know all the cards you currently have open with the bank whose reconsideration line you are calling, when you opened them, and any issues (hopefully no late payments or balances) with any of them.
4. Avoid closing any existing credit cards with that bank before the call: As you'll see in 6., you want the flexibility to move credit from one of the cards you may not use much to the card you want to get approved for. So make sure you don't close any credit cards from that bank before the call.
5. Have good reasons for applying for the new card: "I really like the current bonus mile/point offer" is NOT a good reason. Some good reasons could be:
- The no foreign transaction fee is important to me, as I do a lot of international traveling, and/or buy things from foreign-based companies that would otherwise incur foreign transaction fees
- The EMV Chip is important to me, since I travel internationally and have run into situations where my magnetic stripe card doesn't work (Hyatt Visa)
- The 2x points for dining is such a great benefit, since I dine out a lot / entertain clients often (Chase Sapphire Preferred)
- I travel frequently and the 3x points for airline spend is a great fit for my needs (AMEX Premier Rewards Gold)
- I'm planning a number of trips with [Airline X] because [I've moved and Airline X offers more nonstop flights from here / I've decided I prefer Airline X for __________]
- My spouse/friend has this card and highly recommended it to me
6. Volunteer to reduce credit on another card: It's usually harder to get approved for additional credit than moving credit from an existing card you have with the bank to the card you want to get approved for. So you can say something like "I was wondering if you might be able to approve me for this card, by moving some of the credit from Credit Card X."
7. Be polite: Regardless of the outcome, never lose your cool and remain positive and polite. If the representative still denies you, thank them for their help and end the call. You can always call back a few days later and see if a different representative will approve you, but you certainly don't want any negative notes made about you.
8. Be patient: Even after getting approved, it can still take some time for the approval to show up online (allow 1 week) and could take up to 2 weeks to get the actual card. If you need the card sooner to make some large purchases, ask nicely if they would be willing to expedite the card to you.
1. Chase Credit Card Reconsideration
- 888-245-0625 (personal credit analyst, 7am-10pm EST M-F; 8am-10pm EST Sat. and 9am-9pm Sun.)
- 800-453-9719 (business credit analyst, 8am-10pm EST M-F)
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2. American Express Credit Card Reconsideration
- 800-567-1083 (application status)
- 877-399-3083 (new accounts; can forward you to reconsideration reps) 8am-midnight EST M-F, 10am-6:30pm Saturday
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3. Citibank Credit Card Reconsideration
- 800-695-5171 or 888-201-4523 (credit analyst) 7am - midnight ET (6am - 11pm CT) daily
- 800-763-9795 (personal and business card application status) 7am-midnight EST 7 days a week; can transfer you to a credit analyst
- Note that if you are denied, you'll need to write snail mail to Ken Stork, Office of the President, P.O. Box 6000, Sioux Falls, SD 57117 for reconsideration.
4. Bank of America / Bank of Hawaii Credit Card Reconsideration
- 866-865-7839 (personal credit analyst, 8am-9pm EST M-F)
- 800-481-8277 (business credit card application status; will transfer you to a business credit analyst)
- 877-721-9405 (application status; press 3 then enter your SSN)
- Bank of America Online Application Status Check to check the status of a credit card application
5. Barclays Credit Card Reconsideration
Note: I do NOT recommend applying for Capital One cards, if you care about travel. If you need a cash back card to supplement your frequent flyer miles and transferable points credit cards, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus is a better travel cash back card to get for these reasons:
- Less Damage to Your Credit Score: Barclays typically does only one hard credit pull (Capital One pulls from all 3, hurting your credit score)
- Better Return on Your Spend: the Barclays Arrival Plus gives an effective 2.22% cash back when redeeming for travel, vs. 2% for Capital One
- Redeem for Part of a Travel Expense, Even if You Don't Have Enough Points: With the Capital One Venture, you need to have enough points for the entire redemption. With the Barclays Arrival Plus, you can make a partial redemption in increments of 2500 points, even if you don't have enough for the entire travel expense.