Why You Don’t HAVE to Call Reconsideration Right Now!

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Credit card application.
Photo from: Credit Cards on Flickr

Credit Card Application Received

If you have been around the points/miles game for awhile then you probably have received the dreaded “Your credit card application has been received” message. The one that means you weren’t instantly approved.

I know this message can feel a little personal. After all you have A+ credit and have always paid your bills on time. Why wouldn’t they instantly approve you with a $100,000 credit line?

Credit Card Application Risk Factors

Banks take a number of factors into account when looking to approve your credit card application. They look at your past credit, income, recent credit inquiries, total available credit and a number of other factors.

In order to save money, most banks have an automated computer that weighs these factors and makes a decision. Sometimes the information is so good that it gives an instant approval and sometimes it is clear that you are not a fit for them and an instant denial is given.

Then there is that sort of limbo situation that we find ourselves in often. Many of us are difficult for that computer to figure out. After all we tend to have a lot of credit inquiries and open cards which are risk factors. We simply do not have standard credit profiles.

The Human Intervention

So the banks bring in a human to evaluate us. That process can take days or weeks. Some people want to know their fate right away, so they call into reconsideration. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but that isn’t always my choice.

I am not a fan of reconsideration calls. Let me be clear, I don’t lie on my applications and thus have nothing to hide, however making a reconsideration call is like torture for me. Because of this, sometimes I just let them process my credit card application.

Patience Can Be A Virtue

A great example is the Citi AA Executive cards which were offering a 100,000 mile bonus earlier this year. There were widespread reports that no one was getting instantly approved. With that knowledge, I just let them process my application each time. Each time I was approved within a week.

The most recent case of success for both me and my wife was our recent application for Chase Ink Bold cards. Since it has been widely reported that the Ink Bold will be going away, we decided to apply to get that bonus before it is gone.

Given that my wife and I both have another Ink card for our respective businesses along with several other Chase cards, our applications were not instantly approved. We were in limbo.

Instead of calling in right away, I just let Chase process the applications and within a few days we were approved. Had they denied us then I could still have made the reconsideration call. For me, that is a win.

All Banks Treat Applications Differently

All banks and reconsiderations offices are not created equal. I actually don’t mind Citi & Chase personal reconsideration, while I am not a fan of Chase business. Just a personal preference.

Then there is Barclay’s whose reconsideration is notoriously tough. Call them up before your credit card application is processed and be prepared for an instant denial. It is best not to intervene if you have a lot of cards and/or inquiries in my experience.

Other banks like American Express and U.S. Bank have phone numbers you can call, but they just submit the information to an analyst. In other words, there really isn’t a reason to call until they process your application in the first place.

Conclusion

So much of this hobby involves us spinning our wheels. We have to study award programs, learn about various techniques for earning points all while managing our finances and credit at the same time.

For me it is important to know where to focus my energy. I simply choose not to focus on reconsideration calls since I really don’t enjoy them. Sure they are a necessary evil, however I have cut them down by 50% by waiting.

I firmly believe there is nothing wrong with calling a reconsideration line to inquire about your pending credit card application, but that is not usually my strategy. To each his own as in the end some of us are still winning.


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3 COMMENTS

  1. I can’t argue with your success ratio, but I’m a big fan of recon calls. Like you said, they are a necessary evil and would rather be instantly approved rather than calling, but they are usually pretty simple and take only a few minutes. I’m not very patient, so I want to know ASAP what my status is 🙂

    • I don’t think there is necessarily anything wrong with calling in, however some people don’t like it. My only point is that it isn’t always necessary.

      In the case of Barclay’s I know several cases of people calling in and being denied instantly by a tough recon rep. (They make notes so Hang Up And Call Again doesn’t work.) Anecdotaly I have heard you can gain approval easier by waiting with them.

      I’m just trying to provide another perspective from what is generally out there! Thanks as always Grant!

  2. I’m with Shawn here. Every time you make an unnecessary call, it’s the time wasted. Unless I can’t wait – for one reason or another – I let the process take its course.

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