Credit Card Reconsideration Strategies When Calling In Fails

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Credit Card Reconsideration.

Reminder: Please see the full disclaimer at the bottom of this and every page on this site.

If you are serious about miles & points, then it is almost guaranteed at some point that you will be required to call credit card reconsideration. Sometimes calling in just doesn’t work. Did you know that there is a possibility of getting approved via secure message, chat or with a letter?

Credit 101

I feel it is important to note that applying for credit cards is a personal decision. Personally, I have accumulated millions of miles & points through credit card sign up bonuses and manufactured spend in bonus categories, but I urge everyone to exercise caution.

In order to apply for the top credit cards, a very good credit score (700 or above) is usually required. Additionally, it is counterproductive to get any rewards card if you carry debt, since they usually have higher than normal interest rates. For more information, see my beginner series on credit.

Credit Card Reconsideration

Credit card reconsideration is something that scares many people. Reconsideration is when you ask the bank to review your denied application or process an application that is pending.

When doing it over the phone, you are connected to a credit card analyst who may ask questions about your income and credit history. Credit card reconsideration via phone deserves its own article and I will be posting one with tips and tricks soon, but this addresses the use of alternative forms of reconsideration.

Usually these alternative forms will be used if the phone method has failed. In other words, if they still deny your application after you have called in and plead your case over the phone.

Credit Card Reconsideration Via Secure Message

Recently I had reached my max amount of credit with Chase and they denied my application for a personal card. I offered to shift credit from another card, but the analyst told me no. After another phone call with the same result, I hopped on to my Chase account.

To use Secure Messaging, you do need to have a current account with the bank, but it can be a powerful tool. I have successfully used the secure message tool to get applications approved with both Chase & Citi. I am not specifically aware of other banks this may work with, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

Chase

  • When logged on to your account, click the “Secure Message Center” link and the click “Send new message” when it pops up.

Credit Card Reconsideration via Chase Secure Message.

  • You are now at a screen which will ask you to choose your what kind of inquiry it is. I choose “Other/Inquiry Not Listed” under the dropdown for either business or personal cards.

Credit Card Reconsideration via Chase Secure Message.

  • The final screen is where you will compose your message. It asks which account this message corresponds to. It doesn’t matter which account you chose, since it doesn’t pertain to any of them.

Credit Card Reconsideration via Chase Secure Message.

Note: Prior to hitting “Send” I recommend copying your message in case you get an error. Unfortunately the website has given me an error a few times and I have had to retype my message.

Citibank

  • When logged into your account, click the “Messages” link at the top of the page.

Credit Card Reconsideration via Citi Secure Message.

  • You are now in the secure message center.  At the top of the page select which account you want to write about. Once again, it really doesn’t matter which account you choose.

Credit Card Reconsideration via Citi Secure Message.

  • Under the “Topic” dropdown select “Account – Other”. Write out your subject and text.  When you are satisfied click “Send Message”.

Credit Card Reconsideration via Citi Secure Message.

Note: Once again, I recommend copying your message prior to hitting “Send Message” . Unfortunately the website has given me an error a few times and I have had to retype my message.

Secure Message Credit Card Reconsideration Tips & Using Other Banks

As I mentioned before, I have only tried credit card reconsideration via secure message with Citi & Chase. American Express used to have a message option, but they have done away with it. Many of the other banks have this option as well, but you do have to be an existing customer to have access to it.

If you do try to get credit card reconsideration via this method, be prepared to receive a boiler plate canned response. Some times they will tell you to call in.  My best results have come when I politely ask them to escalate this to a corporate manager since I have already called in. I then usually get a response stating that they have forwarded my message and that I will hear back within a day or two.

The people who initially receive these messages are usually not empowered to do anything about applications.  What they can do is forward your information to someone who is.  Usually that someone ends up being a supervisor or manager who has override authority and can approve your application. Remember to clearly lay out your case when writing and to use proper grammar. Also, don’t forget to be extremely polite.  Make them WANT to help you!

Credit Card Reconsideration Via Chat

Some banks offer chat services on their websites.  Citi does offer it, but the window only pops up for some people.  I know that American Express and other banks offer it as well.  While it can’t hurt to try chat, if you have failed at the reconsideration call, then you probably won’t be reaching someone who has the authority to overturn your denial.  With that said, it is worth a shot and is a possible way to avoid making the call in the first place.

Credit Card Reconsideration Via U.S. Mail

Credit Card Reconsideration Via U.S. Mail

I cannot emphasize enough how well this works.  Many people in this hobby have long know about Citi’s Executive Department.  I have written to them for credit card reconsideration and had success with getting cards approved as well, but almost every bank has an address you can write to. The question is how you find it.

Actually the answer to that question is quite easy.  When you receive the denial letter via U.S. mail, they will include an address to write to if you have any questions.  This is the address that you send a very thoughtful and detailed letter to.  I have helped people get approved with Citibank, Barclays, Bank of America & Capital One by sending letters.

The U.S. mail option is obviously the last chance you have of getting approved.  Since they have already run your credit, it doesn’t hurt to send the letter. I highly recommend laying out your case in a detailed manner and explaining that you are not authorizing an additional credit pull.  This will prevent them for checking again and hitting you with another hard inquiry.

Credit Card Reconsideration Mailing Addresses:

Bank Of America
PO Box 981811
El Paso, TX 79998-9986

Barclays
Card Services
P.O. Box 8828
Wilmington, DE 19899-8828

Citibank
CitiBank Executive Review Department
P.O. Box 6000
Sioux Falls, SD 57117

Capital One
P.O. Box 30280
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0280

Again these are the four banks that I have tried this with.  I have had success with all of them.  For other banks, simply write to the address listed on your credit card denial letter.

Conclusion

If you have applied for a credit card and been denied, there is no reason to give up until you have exhausted all of these methods. Your credit score has already taken the hit, so you might as well do your best to get the card.

Showing a bank that you are willing to go through these methods is actually a good thing.  If you layout your case in a detailed manner that makes sense, they will see you as an individual instead of as just another number sitting in front of them.  In this game we apply for a lot of credit cards which is something that financially desperate people do as well.  Showing them that you aren’t in financial trouble is the key to successful credit card reconsideration.  This allows you to do that.

By utilizing these methods, I have about a 90% success rate.  The U.S. mail method has worked all but once and I have never failed yet when using Secure Messaging.  While these experiences are my own and everything varies based on a number of factors, I highly recommend trying.  If you have any questions or comments about credit card reconsideration then please let me know below!


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13 COMMENTS

  1. I’m writing to the Bank of America for a denied Alaska Air card. They stated my credit of 674 was too low. Do you have any tips I can add to my letter?

    • I would just emphasize that you want to build a relationship with them and don’t need a huge credit line. With the Alaska card if you do get approved it will probably be for their lower product with a 5,000 mile bonus only. Either way, it may be a way for you to get your foot in the door with them.

  2. Hi Shawn,

    I have a long history with Discover for about 5 yrs (my first card)… and really only started accumulating other cards this year.

    I have quite a few now since following BA blogs and maintained good relationships (ie. use and pay on time). This leads to my question… what would you do for business recons? I’ve been eyeing one of the ink cards, but been denied for either short history, too many cards/no history? How would you demonstrate that you would be also a good customer with the card?

  3. hi shawn,
    I have applied for the chase united business , chase southwest business an the marriot personal all at once.
    the united I got approved after a phone call I made to them (on the application it said me to call in)
    however the other 2 cards it says it require further review.
    how should I write to them a secure message ?
    an should I first wait for there final decision or write right away?

  4. Tried Citi recon via secure message and got the following:

    Thank you for contacting us. Unfortunately, we are unable to assist with
    this inquiry via the Secured Message Center.

    For more information regarding declined, approved, or pending
    applications, please call our Application Status hotline at
    1-888-201-4523. Our telecommunication number for our hearing impaired
    customers is TDD/TTY: 301-714-5973.

    We appreciate your business and value you as our customer.

    Regards,

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