TravelSort reader Jenny writes “I currently have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold and Chase Freedom from applications over the past year and just applied for the Hyatt Visa. I wasn't instantly approved and forgot to call reconsideration, and just yesterday got a denial letter for Chase that cites the reason as ‘Too many requests for credit or opened accounts with us'. The letter says that ‘if your credit report is updated or you have additional information that would help us re-evaluate this decision, please call us at 1-888-270-2127 within 30 days of the date of this letter' but should I call reconsideration even without this? What do you advise to help me get the Hyatt card approved?”
Unlike what you may have heard, Chase does not enforce any kind of 6-Month Rule between applying for cards. Instead, Chase, and most banks, set a total credit limit they are willing to extend to you. The actual amount is based on the bank's perception of your creditworthiness. Similar to your overall credit score, the factors that go into this include your payment history, any delinquincies, length of credit history, income, etc.
So what Jenny may be running into is that her current Chase cards already comprise the maximum amount of credit that Chase is willing to extend to her, at least for the time being. But Jenny could still get a new card approved, even after the denial letter, if she calls reconsideration.
Here are my tips for a Chase credit card reconsideration call after a denial:
1. Call as soon as possible, and within 30 days: in fact, play it safe and call as soon as you can after you receive it. Once I called on Day 30, and I barely squeaked by because apparently the decision had been made on the day prior to the date of the letter. So try not to cut it too close.
2. Politely request help with getting your card approved: Instead of leading off with “my application was denied” I'd open with something along the lines of “I recently applied for [card name] and was wondering if you could help me getting it approved?” While this is more style over substance, it's a more positive way to begin, asking the analyst for help with an approval rather than focusing on the problem, which is that you were denied.
3. Know all your Chase cards and credit lines: Your best chance of success lies in being able to move one or more credit lines from existing Chase cards to the new card you're trying to get approved. So know which lines you could stand to have reduced, given your spending, in order to open the new card.
4. Don't close any existing Chase cards before the call: Make sure you don't close any Chase accounts prior to your reconsideration call–you want to be able to move over some existing credit to the new card you want to open.
5. Have good explanations for all your Chase cards, open and closed: Put yourself in the bank's shoes: would you like customers that seem to constantly be churning cards for the bonuses? Wouldn't you rather have long-term customers that put a lot of spend on your cards and don't seem to be constantly cycling their cards? Have good explanations for why you opened and closed each card you have that doesn't involve churning it for the bonus. There are probably some non-signup bonus benefits that you value, so cite them: no foreign transaction fees, EMV chip technology, the best rewards card for X airline or hotel, category bonuses that reward your large spend on dining, travel, gas, etc. For closing an airline credit card, you could cite a move to a new city not well served by the airline; or for another card, cite a Chase card you still have that you find more rewarding.
6. Be prepared to justify income, including business income: Even if you're applying for a personal card, if you have any business income, be prepared to discuss the numbers. When I spoke with Reconsideration for my Marriott Premier Card I was asked not only my own income (after the 2010 enactment of the CARD Act, credit card companies have to evaluate an individual's income, not just household) but also gross business income, expenses, and how much I anticipated putting on the card (this last one in order to figure out the credit line needed).
7. Remain calm and polite: As always, remain calm and polite on the call. Certainly you can note to the analyst the things in your favor: your long relationship with Chase, that you pay your cards off in full and on time every month, and that you've put significant spending on your Chase cards. But if for some reason the call isn't going as well as you'd hoped, don't be unkind or rude to the analyst, just thank them and end the call. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and there will always be other offers.
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