Credit Card Reconsideration Tips & Strategy: Change That Denial to an Approval!


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Credit Card Reconsideration

Credit Card Reconsideration Tips & Strategy

Credit Card Reconsideration Tips & Strategy

Credit card reconsideration is a topic that the average consumer seemingly doesn’t know much about. Many people think the initial denial on a credit card application is final. Thankfully that isn’t always the case. It is possible with just about every bank to “plead your case” in an effort to overturn their decision. Sometimes you are able to speak to someone live who can help and other times you need to request an escalation. This post will arm you with the information you need for a successful credit card reconsideration experience.

Credit Card Reconsideration Phone Call

Credit Card Reconsideration Tips & Strategy
Photo by Plantronics Germany.

The first place that most people look to get a credit card application reconsidered is via the telephone. Banks don’t often publish their reconsideration phone numbers so they can be hard to find. I have found the numbers in this Flyertalk thread to be helpful and there are other resources on the web as well. Once you have the phone number, get ready for the call.

Preparing for the Reconsideration Phone Call

When applying for a credit card, you are asking the bank to extend you a line of credit. If you are asking for reconsideration that means they have decided against giving you that credit. This call is your chance to change that “No” to a “Yes”. You need to come prepared.

Here are a few tips for a reconsideration phone call:

  • Sound confident. You are creditworthy and you want the bank to know it. Don’t sound nervous or desperate or you are less likely to instill confidence in the agent you are speaking with.
  • Be polite and concise on the call. Being polite to the agent will make them want to help you and being concise will show that you respect their time.
  • Plead your case in about two to three sentences. Don’t spout off ten reasons why they should accept your application. Instead, keep it limited to between one and three.
  • Be prepared to answer questions. Know why you are applying for that specific card and be prepared to defend any negative information on your credit report.

Dealing with a “No”

There are going to be times when you are still denied after politely pleading your case. In fact, there will probably be times where you think that you have convinced the agent to accept your application only to be denied. It is frustrating and upsetting. It also can be difficult not to take it personally. Don’t do that. Before you get off the phone with the agent, consider doing the following:

  • Ask if there is any senior level agent who has more power to reconsider the application and if your reconsideration can be escalated. Do this in the most polite and respectful manner possible.
  • Get specific information as to why they are still denying your application. This information may be helpful later.
  • You can try to hang up and call another rep, but do know that most banks now keep notes on the application, so the new rep will likely know that you called before.

Other Methods of Credit Card Reconsideration

If calling in for credit card reconsideration didn’t result in an approval, there may still be hope! Banks are huge businesses and often it is possible to get your application in front of someone with override authority, but it will take some effort.

Credit Card Reconsideration via U.S. Mail

Credit Card Reconsideration Tips & Strategy
Photo by Kevin Dooley

If you are denied for a credit application, then the credit issuer is required to mail you a letter explaining where they obtained your credit information. This letter will also have an address that you can use to contact the bank. Writing a letter to a bank for credit card reconsideration is a long shot, but what do you really have to lose?

I have posted a sample letter here, but here are the credit card reconsideration letter basics:

  • Keep the letter concise. Don’t ramble on.
  • Make sure to address why this particular card is important and emphasize that you aren’t looking for a lot of credit, but that you want to use the card for its specific benefits.
  • Address head on the reasons you were denied on the phone call. Do your best to explain why those reasons aren’t valid.
  • Make sure to use proper grammar and sentence structure. You are asking them for credit, so the nicer your letter looks, the better the chance that the bank will take your request seriously.

Credit Card Reconsideration via Secure Message

Credit Card Reconsideration Tips & Strategy
Chase’s secure message system.

If you are already a customer of the bank you are applying with, then it may be possible to ask for reconsideration via their secure message or customer mail system. I have had great success with Chase and other banks by asking for reconsideration this way. It is often possible to reach senior level reps. You can find out more information about reconsideration via this method in this post, however here are the basics:

  • Keep your message very short. It shouldn’t be any more than four to five sentences.
  • Offer to close a current account (if you are willing to) and/or offer to shift credit to gain an approval.
  • If you receive a response saying that you need to call in or that they cannot help you via secure message, kindly request that your message is escalated to someone who can help.
  • While the request will be done via secure message, you may receive a call from someone at the bank who can help you with the reconsideration.

Credit Card Reconsideration via Chat

Credit Card Reconsideration Tips & Strategy
The American Express chat service.

Some banks have chat services instead of secure messaging. In some cases it can be possible to request reconsideration via this method, although it is more of a long shot. If you are able to request reconsideration via chat, the agent most likely won’t be empowered, so expect them to escalate the request for you. Generally you will receive a phone call from a senior agent at a later time. This is the least preferred method of credit card reconsideration in my opinion.

Credit Card Reconsideration Tips

Credit Card Reconsideration Tips & Strategy

No matter which method of credit card reconsideration you choose, here are some useful tips to maximize your chances of success based on my experience:

  • Be polite, professional and concise.
  • Know the benefits of the card you are applying for and why you want that card.
  • Address any concerns the bank has head on, but in a respectful way.
  • Offer to shift credit lines and/or close existing cards if you really want an approval. Show them that the card itself is important, but that you are not desperate for new credit.
  • If you ultimately are still denied, fully understand the reasons why so you can improve the chances of your application being approved the next time.

Additional Resources


If you have recently been denied for a credit card, then know that there is still a chance of gaining an approval via credit card reconsideration. While it doesn’t always work, by going through the reconsideration process, you will learn more about how banks work and what they are looking for in their customers. No matter whether it results in an approval or a denial, the credit card reconsideration experience will ultimately help you down the line with future applications.

Do you have any credit card reconsideration stories and/or questions? Feel free to share in the comments!

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  1. Thank you for this valuable info. Both my husband and I have been turned down by Chase for “too many cards open” …the letter mentions there will be no reconsideration. ?

  2. Wife applied for the Arrival+ and was approved. Then applied for a Frontier card to combine pulls. We live in Frontier’s hub of Denver, so I thought this would be a great reason to get the card. Agent kept explaining that she had too many recently opened cards, and they wouldn’t budge. No big deal since we already got the A+ approved, but there are tons of Frontier flights from Denver and it would’ve been nice now that it’s $400+ RT to fly from Denver to anywhere in Florida these days.

  3. I got denied by chase for the freedom card. First time applying. I’m building my credit from a bankruptcy 2 years ago. I’m not giving up.

    • 2 years in a bankruptcy is relatively close. Chase is hardcore on bankruptcy’s. Try other banks first you will probably receive the same denials. At this time secured cards which can convert to regular cards and store cards are your better options

  4. 3 1/2 years out of bankruptcy, 675 experian score with no late payments and 30K open on Capital One, Discover, Santander and Merrick. Chase outwardly denied me for a card. Reason: Bankruptcy. Mind you, I have had two good car loans with them pre and post Bankruptcy. I was denied for the Chase Slate card.


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